Following a loss to Oakland, the Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team bounced back to protect their home floor as they easily defeated the Saints of Siena Heights University, 79-34 at the Convocation Center Friday afternoon.
EMU took the time to learn from their loss, improving their shot selection as they shot 53 percent from the field, which is a vast improvement from shooting 39 percent at Oakland University. The Eagles also improved on the defensive end, recording 15 steals and causing Siena Heights to turn the ball over 25 times. The Eagles did a good job of getting too the line, but weren’t able to convert those chances as they only made 51 percent of their free throws.
“It’s always good to protect your home floor. It’s always good to come back and get a victory especially after a tough loss which we encountered a few days ago,” said EMU coach Rob Murphy. “Today we didn’t settle for shots and we continued to attack the paint.”
Willie Mangum made his presence known in the game as he scored a game and career high 29 points, including 17 in the first half. Mangum would also finish with seven rebounds, two assists, and four steals.
“It felt real good because I really did shoot the ball bad [against Oakland],” noted Mangum. “I was settling too much so I just told myself I was gonna have a better game. I’m never gonna lose confidence in myself or what I do.”
Brandon Nazione would record his second career double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Jodan Price would again provide valuable minutes off the bench with six points, four rebounds, and two steals. Freshman LaMonta Stone would score his first points for EMU and add three assists and a rebound in his second game playing for EMU.
“These guys believe in what we’re doing so we just got to keep getting better,” said Murphy.
This blowout win is just the momentum swing the Eagles needed as they face their biggest challenge yet when they play Michigan State University Spartans November 23 at the Breslin Center. The 2-1 Eagles will look to pull off the upset as they face their first ranked opponent of the season.