The Eastern Michigan Eagles (12-12, 7-6) fell to the Akron University Zips on Saturday, Feb. 15 at the Convocation Center in Ypsilanti. The Eagles only had one double-digit scorer in the game as forward Areanna Combs dropped a game-high 23 points, four assists and two steals in the loss. Shaunay Edmonds had a team-high 15 points for the Zips.
By the end of the first quarter, the Eagles were down by eight points as Akron jumped out to a 19-11 lead. Combs had four points for the Eagles after the first period, while also adding three assists. The Eagles looked to turn things around in the second quarter of the game even though they were trailing 13 points when they got to the halfway point of the quarter.
At one point in the third quarter, EMU was only down by two points as they came back from being down by double digits. Combs reached her third game in a row scoring more than 20 points but the Eagles still couldn’t defeat the Zips. EMU fell down 37-24 at halftime and eventually lost 64-53.
The Eagles faced their largest deficit of the afternoon, 42-28, with 8:17 to go in the third but brought it back with a 12-0 run to move within a single possession. Then Cardwell banked home a shot to make it 42-40, prompting the Zips to call a timeout with 5:27 left in the third. Combs made contact later in the quarter on a successful layup to make it a one-point game, 45-44, with 2:23 to go but Akron pulled away from there to secure an 11-point victory.
EMU finished the afternoon 25.4% from the floor, while Akron ended the contest with a 39.7% field goal efficiency. Eastern Michigan also out-rebounded the Zips, 48-45, and recorded more points in the paint (30-18), second-chance points (14-8), steals (7-5), and blocks (3-1) than their conference opponent.
Although the Eagles didn’t win, this was definitely a game that brought out the power in Eastern’s players, especially Combs, Cardwell and Autumn Hudson. Combs led the team with 23 points, while Cardwell and Hudson combined for 16 points, 18 rebounds and one steal. Natalia Pineda also added five points for the Eagles.
Eastern Michigan will look to get back to their winning ways when they return to their home court on Saturday, Feb. 22 to host the MAC West foe Ball State University. Tipoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. After that, the Eagles will travel to DeKalb, Ill. to face Northern Illinois on Wednesday, Feb. 26.