Despite early foul trouble, James Thompson was able to record his sixth straight double-double in Eastern Michigan’s 86-53 loss to the University of Louisville Saturday afternoon.
Thompson’s double-double streak is the longest for EMU since Grant Long’s six game streak in the 1987-88 season.
“It felt pretty good but it would have felt a lot better with a win,” Thompson said.
The Eagles started the game off strong, staying within one point in the first seven minutes until Thompson picked up his second personal foul and headed to the bench.
Following Thompson’s departure for the half, Louisville proceeded to go on a 28-13 run to end the first half including multiple dunks by freshman Ray Spalding.
“Anytime you come into an environment like this you have to make shots,” Murphy said. “You can only play defense for so long.”
The second half started slow for the Eagles as Louisville went on a 8-0 run. The Eagles had kept Louisville forward Damion Lee scoreless in the first half but he led the team with 16 points by the final buzzer.
Along with Thompson’s 13 points and 12 rebounds, Raven Lee led the Eagles with 19 points with 15 coming in the second half.
Willie Mangum struggled to find his shot, shooting 1-for-11 from the floor and Jodan Price went 1-for-6 from the three point line.
“Throughout the game their size really wears on you,” EMU coach Rob Murphy said. “Every time you look up it's a 6’10” guy in your face.”
Louisville’s team features five players that are 6’10” or taller.
“Their height really played a big part in what we did,” Thompson said. “We had to shoot the ball really well to win this game.”
With the loss, the Eagles fell to 6-4 on the season while Louisville improved to 7-1.
Louisville coach Rick Pitino noted the difference that EMU’s zone brings into a game.
“This type of zone, we’ve seen zones all year, but not this type of zone that plays the passing lanes and is averaging 11 steals a game,” Pitino said. “So it’s good to go against that Syracuse-type zone.”
EMU guard Tim Bond had to be helped off the court in the second half after he appeared to land awkwardly on his leg. Murphy said that the “x-rays didn't show any damage.”
Lee’s 19 points were a season-high for him.
The Eagles travel to Tim Bond’s hometown of Baltimore, MD to take on Coppin State University on Dec. 21. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.