Eastern Michigan University’s men’s basketball team was led by Raven Lee to its first conference win of the season with a 54-46 victory over the visiting Northern Illinois Huskies Saturday.
“This was a huge win,” coach Rob Murphy said. “We didn't plan on starting this slow in the conference season, but now we are back on in a way.”
While Lee was 7-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-7 from three points, scoring 24 points total for the game, the rest of the team struggled offensively, shooting 6-of-27 from the field, only good for 22 percent of the game.
“We are running many rotations out there, so it’s been difficult getting into the rhythm completely,” Murphy said. “But we seemed to find one group that had good chemistry and it led to the win.”
EMU was able to do what it has not been able to do in the previous conference games, and that is to take a halftime lead and maintain it up to the end.
Coming out of the locker room after halftime with the team up 27-24, the Eagles were able to extend the lead to 10 points at 35-25 within the first four minutes and didn’t give up the lead once. NIU was able to get within three at 49-46 with 1:15 left in the game, but a tip-in by center Jerome Hunter with 46 seconds left on the clock forced the Huskies to start fouling the Eagles.
Guard Mike Talley was able to make both free throws with 21 seconds left to seal the victory for EMU.
Talley Hits Milestone
During the NIU game, red shirt senior Mike Talley reached the 1,000-point plateau for his career as a collegiate player.
The 1,000 points are a combination of 453 points in Talley’s time at Duquesne as well as 548 points as an Eagle with the current total at 1,001 points for his career.
“It’s really cool to look back at my career,” Talley said following the game Saturday. “Being my fourth year playing, just staying with hard work knowing what I've been through with transferring schools. So just to have a productive career scoring points is pretty cool.”
Talley has plenty of opportunities to add to his career total as well with 14 games left in the regular season along with the conference tournament at the end of the season.
The Eagles now run their record to 12-5 on the season with a 1-3 record in the MAC, while the Huskies fall to 7-8 with a 1-3 conference record.
EMU will next play Wednesday, Jan. 21, at Bowling Green University. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.