The Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team broke its nine-game losing streak against the University of Detroit-Mercy on an icy, cold Monday night, 88-73.
Brandon Nazione had a breakout performance for the Eagles, finishing with 23 points. He also had seven rebounds and five steals. Nazione, who has been described as, “the glue that holds this team together,” by coach Rob Murphy, broke his career high in points.
“I thought I played solid defensively. It’s what we do as a program,” Nazione said. “I thought I played pretty well. My teammates put me in a lot of positions to get a lot of buckets.”
Eastern Michigan fell behind to a 7-0 run by the Titans to start the game but picked up the pace and cut the lead to three heading into halftime. The Eagles stifled the Titans offense, causing eight unforced turnovers and five steals.
“I thought we got off to a slow start the first six minutes of the game. We couldn’t score and get back on transition, so we allowed some easy buckets, “ Murphy said. “But once we dialed in, we scored a few points and our defense got up, and we were able to get back in the game and take the lead right before half.”
Eastern Michigan started the second half with a 7-0 scoring run to extend their lead to eleven. The Eagles also got it done on defense, causing another ten turnovers and getting eight steals.
“We had 12 first half turnovers and they tried to press against us a couple times," Detroit coach Ray McCallum said. “Their zone kept us at bay.”
EMU guards Raven Lee and Willie Mangum finished with 15 and 16 points, both combining for nine assists for the Eagles. Tim Bond finished with 12 points and three steals. Jordan Martin contributed an element of hustle from the bench, finishing with three points and three rebounds in eleven minutes of playing time.
Eastern Michigan’s next contest will be after the New Year when they take on North Florida Jan. 2. The game will be the first of an EMU basketball double-header as the women's team plays at 2:30 p.m. Tip-off for the men is scheduled for 12 p.m. at the Convocation Center.