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The Eastern Echo Saturday, May 25, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

EMU Men's Basketball Game (Open Court)

Eastern Michigan escapes a close one from Northwood, 67-64

The Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team got a narrow victory against the Timberwolves from Northwood University to improve to 7-5 on the season, marking the first time the Eagles have finished non-conference play with a winning record in a full season since the 2019-20 season. 

Eastern Michigan was led by Orlando Lovejoy (Detroit, Mich.) and Yusuf Jihad (Farmington Hills, Mich.) who had 17 points and 15 points, to edge out Northwood by a score of 67-64.

Despite the three-point victory, Eastern led for a total of 26 minutes and 43 seconds, taking their largest lead of eight points with 2:24 to play in the second half, before the Timberwolves eventually cut it down to one with less than 10 seconds to go.

The stat of the day for EMU was the rebounding totals, besting Northwood by a landslide of 48-32, including both the offense and defensive sides of the glass. The 48 rebounds are a team high for Eastern Michigan in the 2023-24 season. 

Lovejoy took control on the glass as well for the Eagles, finishing with 10 rebounds. The game is the first double-double of his career.

 All nine of the Eagles that played made at least one field goal for the Eagles, which excluded the absence of Tyson Acuff (Detroit, Mich.) who averages 23 points per game this season and heading into Dec. 30, ranks fifth in the NCAA in points per game. 

The first half of the contest only saw the Eagles up by one, 31-30 which was in part due to the fact that the Green and White shot just below 38% from the field in the first half.

An 11-5 run to start the second half helped give Eastern Michigan some momentum, but even then Northwood was still hanging around for the entire second half. 

While Northwood never saw a lead in the entire second half, they were able to tie the game on a few occasions, with the latest coming with just over six minutes to play when it was 57-57.

With just over two minutes to play in the game, the Eagles had a lead of 65-57, but they only scored two points for the rest of the day. Arne Osojnik (Ljubljana, Slovenia) hit two free throws to make it a 67-64 game.

The Eagles made the decision to foul being up three and they were able to capitalize in the end. Northwood had a look for three that missed and had only one second after they got the ball for another chance. They ended up turning it over to ultimately end the game and to give the Eagles the win.

The 2023 calendar year ends for Eastern Michigan. The Eagles will next be in action when they go on the road to play the Falcons of Bowling Green State University at the Stroh Center in Bowling Green, Ohio. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and will be streamed on ESPN+ and can be listened to on WEMU 89.1 FM.

For more information on the EMU men's basketball team, you can visit The Echo's website.