After two consecutive losses during MAC play, the Eastern Michigan University Eagles came back to the Convocation Center and pulled out a 76-40 blow-out win against the Ohio Bobcats.
This is the largest margin of victory the Eagles have achieved since 2004 and the biggest win in a Mid-American Conference tournament since 1997.
The Eagles finished the first half with a leading score of 31-16; averaging 44.8 in field goal percentage, 11.1 percent from behind the arc and 100 percent from the free throw.
Raven Lee(G) led the half with 11 points, shooting 5-8 from the field while Karrington Ward (F) dropped in 6 points and a perfect 4-4 shot take from behind the free-throw line by Mike Talley (G).
“We came out very aggressive on defense. We didn’t allow Ohio get as many clean looks in the first half,” head coach Rob Murphy said. “I thought we did a good job as far as pushing the ball in transition and coming in the [second] half, having a commanding lead. We wanted to make sure we came out and continue to play.”
The Eagles continued to rock at a steady pace during the second half as the Bobcats struggled to catch up their 15-point lead. Ohio only averaged a 22.8 field goal percentage throughout the game, including 10.5 percent in 3-point shooting and 70.6 percent behind the free throw.
The Bobcats stood no chance against the Eagles’ aggressive defense during the remainder of the game. EMU gained 16 points from Ohio’s forced turnovers along with 16 fast break points.
Freshman guard Tim Bond dropped an impressive alley-oop dunk from Lee during the Eagles 8-0 run, pushing Eastern’s lead to a difference of 30+ points.
Raven Lee led the team’s 76-40 victory win with 19 points while Mike Talley managed 16 points and handed out 7 assists.
Karrington Ward reached double figures in the game as well, scoring 12 points and shooting 6 of 12 from the field.
Olalekan Ajayi pulled (F) grabbed 10 of the teams 44 rebounds leading to some of the teams overall 24 fast break points.
“We have a long way to go,” Murphy said. “This is a good win for us; it’s always good to protect our home floor and we want to continue to get better.”
He said he credits the team for coming out with extreme focus and gaining a great victory, especially after facing the death of EMU’s [women’s] basketball player Shannise Heady over this past week.
EMU’s men’s basketball team now has a season record of 13-7 and 2-5 in the MAC. The Eagles are spotted to play the Western Michigan Broncos at the Convocation Center, Saturday, Jan. 31, for the “White-Out” game.
Tip-off is at noon with a follow-up game of women’s basketball starting at 2:30 p.m. against the Buffalo Bulls.