The hole that the Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team has dug for themselves grew deeper Saturday when the Eagles fell to Central Michigan 65-51 in Mt. Pleasant and dropped to 1-5 in MAC conference play.
Speaking of digging holes, EMU dug a deep one in the first half allowing CMU to hit eight three-point shots. The Eagles allowed the Chippewas to go on a 17-0 run between the end of the first half and first four minutes of the second half, a run that prevented any rally from the Eagles.
“Give all credit to Central Michigan, they played a great first half,” EMU coach Rob Murphy said. “We allowed them to hit eight first half threes. Thought we did a better job defensively in the second half defensively and we tried to get into an offensive flow but anytime you are down 21 points on the road it’s going to be very difficult to close that gap and have a chance to win.”
Guards Raven Lee and Mike Talley attempted to lead a second-half rally for the Eagles with Lee scoring 13 of his team-leading 18 points and Talley scoring all nine of his points in the period, but it came up short in the end. The team was also without forward Karrington Ward for the second half due to injury.
“We were without Karrington Ward in the second half,” Murphy said. “He has a sprained ankle. Wasn’t able to have lift or any push off of it. I challenged (Lee and Talley) at halftime and they came out and fought hard, but anytime you dig yourself a hole, which goes back to the first half for us, but I challenged the two leaders to come out and fight hard, and they did that.”
EMU was only outscored 29-28 in the second half, but the stretch spanning from the last two minutes of the first half and the first four minutes of the second half, along with another game of the Eagles shooting around 30 percent from the field, ended up being the dagger.
The Eagles now fall to 12-7 on the season with a 1-5 MAC record while the Chippewas improve to 14-3 with a 4-2 MAC record this season.
EMU will next play Tuesday, coming back home to the Convocation Center to face Ohio University. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.