For only the second time this season, Eastern Michigan men’s basketball team lost at home, falling to the University of Buffalo 78-63.
After shooting over 50 percent in the previous two games, EMU struggled only converting on 36 percent of its field goal attempts.
“We never got anything going,” EMU coach Rob Murphy said. “We had our chance starting in the second half, but we couldn’t get shots to go down, and Buffalo got the rebounds. All credit to them. They came in here and took the game.”
After the Eagles (16-10, 5-8 MAC) jumped out to an early 13-9 in the first seven minutes of the first half, Buffalo (16-9, 7-6 MAC) proceeded on a 16-2 run spanning from the 11:54 mark to the 8:04 point in the half to take a 25-15 lead. EMU was able to close the gap and cut Buffalo’s lead at the half to just seven at 38-31.
The Eagles were also able to trim the deficit down to three at the start of the second half, trailing 40-37 with 17:39 remaining in the game. However, Buffalo countered with another long run, this time 15-2 led by Shannon Evans and Justin Moss and extended the Bulls’ lead to 55-39. EMU was unable to recover through the rest of the game.
“I told them at the half we were only two possessions down,” Murphy said. “We had four straight stops to start the half, but we did nothing on offense. Ray Lee didn’t get into a flow and Mike Talley was dribbling too much and didn’t have a good floor game.”
Lee only scored 9 points before fouling out with 10:46 left in the second half while Talley shot 42 percent from the floor.
The bright spot during the game was Karrington Ward recording his third straight double-double giving him seven on the season. His 21 points and 11 rebounds followed up after a week where he received MAC Player of the Week honors.
“He’s a phenomenal player,” Murphy said. “The only time he hasn’t played well is when he was hurt. He did a tremendous job tonight and shot the ball well.”
After finishing the home stand 2-1, EMU now hits out on the road Saturday seeking the elusive road win heading out to Dekalb, Ill., to face Northern Illinois. Tipoff will be at 8 p.m. EST.