With no time left on the clock, junior forward Jamell Harris threw up a three-point attempt that would tie the game. The ball bounced in and spun back out of the rim, bringing Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team’s season to an end. Northern Illinois took the 55-52 victory over the Eagles on Monday night at the Convocation Center.
With the win, the Huskies advance to the second round of the Mid-American Conference which will be held at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Eagles, who had three players in double-digits were led by Harris and senior guard Darrell Lampley with 13 points a piece. Lampley added six assists and Harris also led the defensive efforts with eight rebounds.
After knocking down four triples on the night, Derek Thompson finished with 12 points. Antonio Green pitched in with five rebounds.
NIU was led by Tony Nixon’s game-high 14 points and 13 points from Aksel Bolin. Nixon, Bolin and Abdel Nader each recorded five boards on the night.
The Eagles outrebounded the Huskies 28-27. They beat them at the free-throw line, going 14-for-20 (70 percent) compared to NIU’s 61.5 percent. They also stole the ball ten times, five of which were at the hands of Green alone. However, the Huskies made 48.7 percent of their shots from the field and 42.9 percent from behind the arch. Meanwhile, Eastern struggled offensively, knocking down just 34 percent of their shots (26.1 percent from downtown), unable to overcome 7-for-17 shooting in the first half.
The Eagles finish their season with a 14-18 overall record (9-7 MAC) in head coach Rob Murphy’s first year in Ypsilanti. They also clenched the program’s first-ever MAC West Division title.