Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team (4-5, 0-0 MAC) battled Niagara University (3-6, 0-2 MAAC) on Dec. 8 inside the Convocation Center, which resulted in a 60-58 win for the Eagles. The matchup marked the third all-time meeting between the two schools.
The Eagles have now earned four wins on the season under first-year Head Coach Stan Heath. This allowed Coach Heath to become the first EMU head coach to start a season 4-0 at home in their first season since former Eagles head coach Milton Barnes started 8-0 in his first season in 1996.
In the first half, an early 6-0 run gave Niagara the early lead over EMU. Although a triple from Niagara’s Marcus Hammond that extended their lead to 11-0, the Eagles would come back. With four and half minutes left, the Eagles were fueling after taking the lead 21-20. After falling behind again, 27-25, EMU would go on a 5-0 run with a little over a minute left to close out the half with a 30-27 lead.
Coming into the second half the Eagles kept up their steam. They opened up, expanding the lead to 43-34 and then going on a 5-0 run to make it 48-34 with 11 minutes left in the half. Niagara would then go on a 9-0 run, but it wasn’t enough. The Eagles held on and won 60-58 to expand their home game winning streak to 4 games.
In a post-game press conference held by EMU athletics, Head Coach Stan Heath shared his thoughts on the win.
“It was a good, quality win,” Coach Heath said. “They kept us unbalanced a little bit but that’s great experience for the young guys and obviously to come out on top,” he added.
In regards to scoring efforts, junior Bryce McBride led the way for the Eagles as he scored a game-high 19 points. Senior Monty Scott and freshman Colin Golson Jr. had 11 points each. For McBride, the performance marked the third time this season he has scored 15-or-more points coming off the bench.
In the post-game press conference, McBride shared his thoughts on what his mindset was during the game in the final minutes.
“To be mentally and physically tough,” McBride said.
EMU’s bench also came out strong. They would put up 23 points in the matchup to mark the eighth time this season the Eagles’ bench has scored 20+ points.
The win will put Eastern Michigan’s record at 4-5 on the season.
To keep up with everything on EMU Men’s hoops, you can visit EMUEagles.com.