The Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team traveled to Muncie, Ind., Tuesday and avenged an early season loss against Ball State by defeating the Cardinals 67-60 in their second matchup of the season.
With the win the Eagles finish the regular season 4-9 on the road, but EMU head coach Rob Murphy views this win as a big one moving forward despite Ball State’s abysmal 2-15 conference record.
“I thought tonight was a very good road win for us,” Murphy said. “Anytime you get a road win in this league, it’s huge and goes a long way. Contrary to Ball State’s record, they’re a very competitive basketball team.”
Raven Lee led the Eagles with 20 points and Mike Talley followed with 16. Free throw shooting saved the game for the Eagles, converting 17-of-18 attempts as a team.
“We were unbelievable from the free throw line,” Murphy said. “Mike Talley was 9-of-9, we were 17-of-18, we did a really good job there and it really helped finish the win.”
Talley scored on a layup at the 4:15 mark in the second to give what appeared to be a comfortable lead at 59-45. The Cardinals followed with a 10-0 run over the course of the next two minutes to cut the lead to 59-55.
BSU then went to full press coverage where Eagle ball-handlers saw double, and even triple team coverage that frustrated EMU even further.
The Eagles persevered and perfect free throw shooting in the last minute of the game sealed the EMU victory.
“I told my guys to forget what happened before March began,” Murphy said. “Everything before March is done, now it’s a new season. We’re 1-0 now in March and we are looking to stay unbeaten for as long as we can during this month.”
The Eagles next play Friday in the regular season finale hosting the Toledo Rockets. The game will also be senior night for the four EMU seniors. Tipoff for the game will be 7 p.m., and senior day ceremonies will be held prior to the game.