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EMU begins Murphy era with 68-57 Win

(11/12/11 4:26am)

With the final buzzer sounding off on a 68-57 victory for Eastern Michigan University over the University of Illinois-Chicago, the Rob Murphy era got off to an excellent and positive start. Junior guard Derek Thompson led EMU in the scoring with 17 points with Darrell Lampley shooting for 12 points. Junior center Matt Balkema fouled out late in the second half but contributed 10 points for EMU. Senior center Kamil Janton came off the bench to lead the team in total rebounds (7) with six of them on defense. The Eagles returned eight letter winners and three returning seniors. They entered with three newcomers, two of which are transfer players. Redshirt sophomore guard Austin Harper transferred from Glen Oaks Community College while guard Anthony Strickland was eligible to play after sitting out last season after coming from Adrian College. This game was the head coaching debut for Murphy, a Detroit native that graduated from Mumford High School and went to Central State University for college. He was a coach throughout the Detroit Public Schools system and later was an assistant coach at Kent State and Syracuse before being hired by Eastern Michigan. He said he has had a great experience since taking the coaching position at EMU. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for me and I’m excited each and every day about it and we have huge support here,” Murphy said. EMU got the scoring going right away with the first two points of the game. Both teams battled for the lead with EMU taking a six point lead with less than two minutes left until halftime. UIC scored five points to cut the EMU lead to one point with a 27-26 halftime lead. Illinois-Chicago then came out and took a seven point lead after four minutes into the second half. EMU began chipping away at the lead with a combination of free throws and layups inside the paint. Eastern Michigan took the lead for good with Antonio Green tipping the ball in with less than eight minutes to play. Foul trouble for UIC made the Eastern Michigan lead even bigger with EMU going on to win with a final score of 68-57. “Our guys hung in there and stuck together and continue to fight,” said Murphy. “They all had some confidence that we will win the game. Murphy looks back at his head coaching debut as an up and down experience. “I’ve learned from the best coaches of all time in Jim Boeheim that you stick with your game plan and more times than not you may come out on top,” said Murphy. The next home game for Eastern Michigan takes place on Nov. 18 against Arkansas-Little Rock for a 7 p.m. tipoff.

Eagles defeat Northeastern 85-53 in season opener

(11/11/11 10:10pm)

It was a record-setting day for the Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team as it defeated Northeastern 85-53 in Boston in the 2011-12 season opener. Leading the game in points was Tavelyn James with a record-setting 42-points, passing a single-game scoring title she possessed during the 2010 season. Along with James, Olivia Fouty and Desyree Thomas also posted double digit performances. Fouty drained a career-high 20 points while Thomas also recorded the best of her career with ten points for the Eagles. The game got off to a slow start as the Eagles took the first basket two minutes into the first quarter. From there EMU refused to relinquish the lead taking a 19-2 lead with ten minutes remaining in the half. With Northeastern displaying tough courage, the Eagles posed too much of a challenge, dominating every area of the stat sheet, leading to a solid 32-10 lead with five minutes left in the first half. With three minutes left into the first half, James buried a three pointer from an assist by Thomas to take a 35-12 lead, heading into the final minutes in the first half. The Huskies, despite being down, continued to play hard, and ended the half with a three pointer to go into the locker room down 16-35. To open the second half the Eagles, once again, separated the lead early, taking a 41-20 lead, only several minutes into the second half. Despite The Huskies attempts, a layup from Natachia Watkins gave the Eagles a 51-28 lead with 12 minutes left in the second half The Eagles continued to apply pressure throughout the course of the game, pressuring the Huskies leading to 17 steals throughout the game. With only 7 minutes left along with a media timeout, the Eagles held a dominant lead of 65-37, coming off the timeout the game continued without much changing, with Taylor Byrd making two freethrows to give the eagles a 81-53 lead, closing out the game seconds later with a 83-53 victory for the Eagles. The Eagles will play again Nov. 14 in their home opener against Marygrove at the Convocation Center in Ypsilanti, Mich. Tip-off is scheduled for a 7 p.m.

Eastern Michigan women's basketball team loses 51-46 in MAC championship game

(03/12/11 11:16pm)

Heading into the Mid-American Conference championship game Saturday, the Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team knew it had a tough match up ahead. The Eagles were the first fifth seed to make it to the championship game in the history of the women’s MAC tournament. On top of that, they were playing in Cleveland — not too far from the home court of their No. 2-seeded and MAC East Champion opponents, the Bowling Green Falcons.

Eastern Michigan women's basketball team defeats Toledo, 61-55, in MAC tournament semifinals

(03/12/11 7:09am)

After connecting on seven of its eight free throws in the final 1:08 of the Mid-American Conference tournament semifinals, the Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team defeated the No.1-seeded University of Toledo, 61-55, Friday to advance to the MAC Championship game.

Eastern Michigan women's basketball team defeats Kent State, 69-65, in quarterfinals of MAC tournament

(03/10/11 9:36pm)

A last-minute layup by Kristin Thomas followed by a pair of free-throws from Cassie Schrock lifted the Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team to a 69-65 victory over Kent State University Wednesday at the Quicken Loans Arena in the second round of the Mid-American Conference tournament.