Kent State hands Eagles third straight loss

Eastern Michigan forward Brandon Nazione is blocked in the Eagles 65-59 loss to Kent State Wednesday night in Kent, OH.

Eastern Michigan University falls short of another Mid-American Conference game after losing to Kent St. University 65-59. The Eagles are now 0-3 in the MAC play, giving them an overall 11-5 season.

EMU started the first half of the game on a good note; leading Kent St. by the highest of 16 points and ending the half at 37-27. Unfortunately, the Eagles blew their safety seal after a slow rocky start in the second half. Eastern had 11 turnovers in the first 5 minutes of the second half, causing Kent St. to come back and take the lead.

“We played a pretty good first half. We made some shots and played pretty good defense,” Head Coach, Rob Murphy, said. “But we came out the second half, allowing them [Kent St] to get some open looks, we took some bad shots, and we just got nothing going the second half.”

After trailing from a 10-point lead against the Eagles, Kent St. found a spark of momentum in the second half. Kent St. managed to get rid of EMU’s 10-point stretch early in the half, climbing themselves up to their highest [9 point] lead with 10 minutes remaining.

The Eagles began to get their groove back later in the second half, cutting Kent St.’s lead to 1 point, as both teams traded buckets with less than 3 minutes left in the game. Kent St. continued to maintain their lead throughout the rest of the half as their own Chris Ortiz (F) knocked down a big jumper to put Kent St. back up by 3 leading to a 65-59 victory.

Kent St. outscored EMU with an average of 42 percent from the field and 35 percent behind the arc, while the Eagles were 39 percent from the field and 23 percent behind the arc. Both teams had 13 turnovers each, while the Eagles gained 9 steals over Kent St.’s five.

EMU’s leading scorer, Mike Talley (G), led Eastern with 16 points and made 7-9 shots from behind the charity line. Karrington Ward (F) scored 12 points (all in the first half) and grabbed a team high of 8 rebounds. Jodan Price (G/F) added seven points to their total and both Anali Okoloji (F) and Tim Bond (G) added six points each. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough for the Eagles to come home with a win.

If the Eagles plan to win the MAC play tournament, they must find some spark of energy to keep up in the game offensively against opposing teams. This is the third straight game that the Eagles could not manage to stretch the lead and come out with a win.

Eastern returns to their home court on Saturday Jan. 17th, hosting Northern Illinois University with continued hopes for their first win in the MAC. Tip Off begins at noon.

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