The Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team was handed its first loss of the season when they fell to the Oakland University Golden Grizzlies, 91-81, Wednesday night in Rochester, Mich.
The Eagles had trouble on both ends of the floor, turning the ball over 19 times and getting into foul trouble early in the game. The Eagles couldn’t hold the tandem of Oakland’s Kay Felder and Max Hooper who would pour in a combined total of 37 points for the Golden Grizzlies. The Eagles defense would also have trouble inside as Oakland forward Percy Gibson would dominate the inside for 25 points.
“I thought we kept Max Hooper in check pretty much the whole game. He hit a big three when we had cut the lead to nine,” said EMU coach Rob Murphy. “But Kay Felder was really the problem. We couldn’t keep him out the lane. He continued to get us to commit fouls and get to the line to give them a lead.”
At the half, the Eagles were trailing 39-32, but they would continue to struggle as Oakland would open up the lead to 13 within five minutes of the second half. EMU struggled to convert on the offensive end as they shot 39% from the field.
“In the second half, we got off to a bad start. We let the lead continue to grow and by the time we figured things out, we were able to cut the lead but by then it was too late,” said Murphy. “I give Oakland a lot of credit. They play well as a unit and they protected their home floor.”
“They figured it out, they did a great job of finding the seams in that zone defense and getting the ball into Percy,” said Oakland coach Greg Kampe.
Ty Toney would lead the Eagles with 18 points. He would also add eight assists, three steals and seven rebounds. Willie Mangum again provided major points for the Eagles. He would log 16 points despite shooting 5-20 from the field. Brandon Nazione scored 11 points and grabbed seven boards for EMU. Jodan Price would provide valuable minutes off the bench, scoring a career high 15 points while also grabbing five rebounds.
The Eagles’ next contest will be Friday, Nov. 20, 2015 when they host Siena Heights at the Convocation Center.