The Eastern Michigan Eagles (4-0) men’s basketball team is undefeated through four games for the second time in three years after doing so at the beginning of the 2017-18 season. The Eagles upset North Texas (1-3) on Saturday, Nov. 16 at the University of North Texas Coliseum behind Ty Groce’s game-high 15 points.
EMU jumped out to a quick start as they led 29-22 at halftime, which was their largest lead of the game. North Texas, who averaged 59.3 points per game coming into the matchup versus EMU, was unable to get anything going against the Eagles’ tight defense. The Mean Green’s largest lead of the game was six points.
North Texas struggled to score efficiently from inside the 3-point line as they shot just 37.5% from the field. The only reason the Mean Green remained in the game was because of their outside shooting. They knocked down 40% of their 3-pointers, compared to just 25% for Eastern Michigan.
A key for the Eagles so far this season has been the impact of the bench, and that continued versus North Texas. EMU totaled 16 bench points, including seven points and one assist from freshman Shamar Dillard. The Mean Green only accounted for seven bench points in total.
Both teams had multiple double digit scorers as North Texas was led by Deng Geu and Umoja Gibson, who both had 11 points. Geu also added 11 rebounds and two blocks, while Gibson added just one assist and one rebound. Even though Gibson scored 11 points, he struggled to get his shooting going, as he finished 25% from the field.
For the Eagles, Groce led the team in scoring for the third time in four games. He has been very aggressive so far this season and that continued versus the Mean Green. Groce finished with 15 points, four rebounds, four steals, three blocks and two assists in the win. He shot 33.3% from the field and 75% from the free throw line.
Groce also played a team-high 35 minutes.
Yeikson Montero was second on the team in scoring with 14 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals. He has led the Eagles in assists in all four games this year. Boubacar Toure, who came into the game averaging 13.0 points and 10.7 rebounds per game, struggled on Saturday afternoon. He totaled just five points and eight boards.
Noah Morgan finished with four points for the Eagles.
Eastern Michigan is now just one of three undefeated teams in the MAC, along with Central Michigan (3-0) and Kent State (3-0). The Eagles get nearly a week off before facing UMBC on Friday, Nov. 22 at Montego Bay Convention Centre in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The game will tip-off at 2 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
According to ESPN FPI, the Eagles have a 34.3% chance to beat UMBC next weekend.