The Eastern Michigan Eagles (2-0) men’s basketball team earned their second victory of the season as they took down the Goshen Maple Leafs (3-4), 101-49 on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at the Convocation Center. The Eagles were led by Ty Groce, who had a career-high 19 points. Chris Barnes added 16 points, five steals and one assist.
“I thought our guys came out and were hesitant. When we came into our first media timeout, I told them to play like we were playing against man. We started to do that,” head coach Rob Murphy said. “Chris Barnes hit a three. From there, we just took off and didn’t look back. Collectively as a unit, I think we have speed so we want to use that to our advantage.”
The game began with both teams starting in zone defenses, which created a slow start. Ben Cotton hit the first basket of the night as he banked in a 3-pointer more than a minute into the game. Groce got EMU on the scoreboard with a put-back layup with 18:00 left in the first half. The offense would pick up from that point on.
Yeikson Montero connected with Jalen King on an alley-oop to put the Eagles up 12-5 and they continued to pull away, going on a 7-0 run which included baskets from Groce and Montero. In the next seven minutes, EMU went on a 24-4 run which put them up 45-14 with less than four minutes remaining in the half.
After a free throw from Chris James, the Eagles went into halftime with a 50-23 lead. Groce had a game-high 11 points at the half, while Montero added nine points, three rebounds and two assists. Michael Bowers led Goshen with a team-high seven points. The Eagles dominated the first 20 minutes with 19 more bench points and 17 more rebounds than Goshen.
In the second half, the Eagles continued to pull away with a number of highlight dunks. Barnes got it started with a steal and breakaway dunk to put EMU up 59-25 with 16:55 left in the game. Boubacar Toure and Groce also finished dunks, which helped the Eagles go on a 14-5 run to make it 82-37, in favor of Eastern Michigan.
“Tonight, we played collectively for the second game in a row. I thought we were super active defensively. I thought we did a really good job getting in the passing lanes and getting deflections which led steals which led to transition baskets. I thought the game changed when Ty and a couple other players created some second chance opportunities.”
The Eagles won the game 101-49 behind 19 points and five rebounds from Ty Groce. Groce shot 46.2% from the field and 60% from the free throw line. Barnes, who finished with 16 points, shot 71.4% from the field and was 5-5 from the free throw line. Montero was third on the team in scoring with 14 points and three assists.
“I think my first two games were good. My defense got my offense going. I was able to be consistent in the first two games. Now we have speed, we’re quicker to the trap, it’s just a smaller and faster defense. I love how guys can come in and pick up what the starters leave. I like how they’re all aggressive on offense and defense.”
EMU will return to action Thursday, Nov. 14 versus Michigan-Dearborn.