The Eastern Michigan Eagles (15-11, 5-8) men’s basketball team defeated the Kent State Golden Flashes on their home court in Ypsilanti on Tuesday, Feb. 18. The Eagles beat the Golden Flashes with an astonishing score of 70-49, clinching their third consecutive win after beating Central Michigan and Western Michigan recently.
Last week, the Eagles took down the Chippewas by three points on Tuesday, Feb. 11 before defeating Western Michigan by 18 points on Saturday, Feb. 15. The win over Kent State included standout performances from junior Darion Spottsville and senior Boubacar Toure. Spottsville held down time in the first half with his amazing physical play.
In the second half, the two teams traded baskets before an alley-oop from Spottsville to Toure gave EMU their largest lead of the game at 11 points. EMU then stopped the Flashes from scoring for seven straight minutes, with no contribution to their final score of 49.
On the other hand, the Eagles were dependent on Groce in the second half as he contributed to their final score of 70 by scoring 13 points in the second half alone. Groce finished the night with a total of 15 points following him was Toure with 10 points. This is the redshirt seniors fourth straight game scoring in the double digits. By the end of the night, six different EMU players totaled at least seven points.
Eastern Michigan limited Kent State to its lowest field goal percentage of the season at a 29.1% clip. EMU out-rebounded its MAC opponent, 39-35, and outscored them in the paint by six points (28-22). Individually, Toure leads the MAC with a 69% field goal percentage and ranks third with 3.3 offensive rebounds per game.
This was the 77th meeting between Kent State and Eastern Michigan.The two teams split their matchups during the 2019 season series as EMU won 95-61 inside the Convocation Center on Jan. 12 before KSU defeated the Eagles, 71-58, on Feb. 16 in Kent. The two teams will only meet once during the 2019-20 regular season.
Other strong scorers of the night were juniors Thomas Binelli with 13 points and Yeikson Montero with nine points. Binelli, the Bologna, Italy native has made at least one shot from beyond the arc in 17 of the 18 games that he has played and has knocked down a 3-pointer in 10 straight contests. Binelli has made 3+ triples in six games this year, including a career-high five 3-pointers earlier in the year.
Montero has led the Eagle s in scoring three times this year and has tallied double-digit scoring 12 times now. He ranks fourth on the team averaging 9.4 points per game after going for nine points, one assist and one rebound on 75% shooting from the free throw line.
Noah Morgan was also impactful on the game, once again, as he totaled eight points, three rebounds, three assists and one steal. Morgan also committed four turnovers, which will need to get cleaned up in the next few games if the Eagles expect to keep their winning streak intact.
Eastern Michigan’s regular season is quickly coming to an end as they have just five games remaining until the MAC Tournament takes place in Cleveland. Before that, though, Rob Murphy’s team will travel to face Ball State on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. The following game will be back at home on Tuesday, Feb. 25 versus Northern Illinois.