Despite having six players in double-digit scoring, it wasn’t enough for the Eastern Michigan men’s basketball team in its final non-conference game to the University of North Florida Saturday afternoon in Ypsilanti as they lost 82-77.
Brandon Nazione followed up his 23 point performance against the University of Detroit by recording a double-double with ten points and ten rebounds.
In the first half, the Eagles got off to a good start, hitting a good percentage of their shots to take an early lead and they maintained that lead for a good portion of the half. North Florida started to chip away at that lead and eventually took over with eleven minutes to go in the half. The lead would change a total of seven times in the first half, which ended with North Florida leading by just one.
Even though the Eagles were down, they shot 54 percent from the floor, which is nearly double the percentage than what they shot against Detroit. North Florida spent the majority of the first half attacking from beyond the arc as they shot 53 percent from three point range.
“I thought today, we didn’t guard the three point line well," EMU coach Rob Murphy said. "They hit nine threes in the first half; and they did a tremendous job of coming in and shooting the ball.”
In the second half, the Eagles were quickly met with a 6-0 run by UNF to extend their lead to six. James Thompson, who only played eight minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, would score 12 points and grab six rebounds in the second half, scoring multiple put-backs to keep EMU in the game. He would finish with 18 points and nine rebounds.
Guards Raven Lee and Jodan Price each were in the double digits with Price scoring 10 and Lee scoring 15. Ty Toney scored 13 points for the Eagles.
Lee spent a majority of the second half on the bench including the final possession where EMU was down by three points.
“We held them in check the second half from three, but unfortunately they hit a big one with less than two minutes to go [in the game],” Murphy said.
The Eagles’ next contest will be when they open up conference play against Central Michigan Wednesday January 6 at McGuirk Arena in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.