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The Eastern Echo Tuesday, May 28, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

Eastern Michigan vs Akron

Eagles best Broncos, 66-59, in back-and-forth I-94 battle

Bates, Farrakhan, and Golson Jr. account for 42 of teams' 66 points.

The Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team avoided the I-94 sweep and got back into the win column after dropping their previous five games when the Eagles (7-21, 4-11 MAC) defeated the Western Michigan University Broncos (7-21, 3-12 MAC), 66-59, inside the George Gervin GameAbove Center on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Sophomore Emoni Bates’ 17 points led three Eagles who tallied double-digit scoring figures while EMU battled back from a ten-point deficit in the first half to secure the win over their rivals.

Bates coupled his team-high 17 points with a game-high seven rebounds, while fellow sophomores, Noah Farrakhan and Colin Golson Jr., would add 15 points and four rebounds, and 10 points and six rebounds, respectively. The ten points mark the first time in double-digit scoring for Golson Jr. since Nov. 23. It is also the first time that a bench player has scored double-digits for the Eagles since the team’s last win on Jan. 31, when Senior Yusuf Jihad scored 10 against Ohio.

The Eagles struggled early on in the opening minutes after tip-off and found themselves down, 14-4, after about seven minutes of game time. EMU would start to get some shots to fall, including a much-needed three-point shot from sophomore Jalen Billingsley that was facilitated by Farrakhan with 12:11 on the clock in the first half.

The Broncos continued to convert their three-point attempts as well as the half progressed and enjoyed a 24-14 lead with five minutes to go until halftime. EMU would then go on a 14-4 scoring run to close out the remaining minutes and tie the game at 28-28 heading into the break. 12 of the 14 points scored in this period would come from Bates, Farrakhan, and Golson Jr.

The second half of this intrastate rivalry was a true I-94 classic that saw both teams come back from five-point deficits as well as provide four ties and nine lead changes. The game-changing moment came with roughly three minutes left to play when a WMU player missed an attempted dunk that set up a fastbreak for the Eagles where Emoni Bates threw down a ferocious slam dunk that sent the fans at George Gervin GameAbove Center into a frenzy. The Broncos failed to reclaim the lead from then on, as the Eagles cruised to the seven-point, 66-59, victory.

Game Highlights

Post-Game Press Confrence

Up next, the Eagles will play in the latter half of a double-header on Saturday, Feb. 25, that will serve as the home finale for both the men and women. The EMU women will get the day started when they welcome in Kent State for a 1 p.m. tip and the men will act as an encore with their game against Ball State set to get underway at 3:30 p.m. The pair of games will be live-streamed on ESPN3, as well as being available to listen to on WEMU (89.1 FM) and the Varsity Network App.

For more information on the Eastern Michigan men’s basketball team, you can listen to "TheBlockE Podcast" weekly for updates on all Eastern Michigan University Athletics.