Eagles beat falcons, advance to third round in MAC tournament
The Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team faced off with the Bowling Green Falcons, winning the game, 73-67, and advancing to the third round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament to take on the No. 4 seed Toledo.
Eagles’ guard Raven Lee scored a game high of 27 points, shooting 8-of-18 from the field, and 3-of-8 from behind the arc along with a perfect 8-of-8 shooting from behind the line.
Mike Talley (G) added 21-points to the team’s final score; shooting 6-of-19 from the field, 3-of-7 from the three-point and a perfect 6-of-6 from the line also.
“I thought tonight was a hard-fought win. Bowling Green continued to challenge us throughout the game. I thought our guards did a phenomenal job,” says head coach, Rob Murphy. “I thought our defense continued to give them problems. Although they scored 67 points and shot a high percentage, I thought we did a well enough job throughout the game to mix some things up to put ourselves in position to give ourselves some rebounds.”
Lee and Talley scored the Eagles' first 21 points in the first 20 minutes of the game. Lee dropped 15 points, while Talley finished the first half with 14 points.
As the game headed into the second half, the rivals continued to battle each other for a lead which changed 6 times during the half.
With less than 3 minutes remaining in the game, the Eagles found their selves up by 4, after Talley knocked down two shots from behind the line.
The team continued to play aggressively throughout the remainder of the half as senior center, Olalekan Ajayi, grabbed big boards on both ends of the floor, giving the Eagles second chance opportunities to score; Ajayi pulled a total of 8 rebounds in the game.
Although the Eagles pulled a 6-point win against the Falcons, Bowling Green shadowed Eastern in field goal attempts; shooting 53.2 percent from the field, with Eastern shooting just 39.3 percent.
Fortunately, the Eagles’ aggressive defense and second chance points outweighed the Falcons’, as they scored 20-points in second chance shooting compared to the Falcons 5-points, helping EMU advance to the next round of tournament.
“We played patient. We got what we really wanted,” senior guard, Mike Talley, said. “Some games we struggled, but today the floor was open. That worked to our advantage.”
The Eagles meet the Rockets tonight. Tip-off begins at 6:30 in Cleveland, Ohio.