Eastern Michigan ended its 16 game losing streak to Miami of Ohio on Saturday, 65-58, earning their second straight Mid American Conference win.
Starting the game down by four, EMU took the lead on an 8-0 run to begin the game and never looked back.
The Redhawks full court press was able to cause 17 turnovers in the second half making it, 60-58, at the 1:35 mark.But EMU countered with a five straight points to end the contest.
“In the first half we only had five turnovers in the beginning of (it,) and were confident and aggressive,” coach Rob Murphy said. “but in the second half we got unaggressive passing the ball around instead of attacking.”
The size of the Eagles is what gave them the edge in the game winning the rebounding battle 34 to 24, and were led by junior center Da’Shonte Riley had a team-high eight rebounds.
“He did a great job, he was super active and kept his hands up.” Murphy said. “He always gets blocks and alters shots but he needs to get better and put it all together. We need to half a complete game.”
Scoring was spread out with three EMU players scoring in double digits, led by senior sixth-man guard Derek Thompson—who scored with 16 points, including four from three-point range. Junior forward Glenn Bryant scored 13 points and Daylen Harrison added 10.
Eastern came out big in the first half scoring 38 points which is what gave them the cushion they needed to carry them to the win.
“I think Jalen Ross did an awesome job handling the ball during the game and he hit two huge free throws for us but very easily we could have lost this game.” Murphy said. “The positive is we made those mistakes, we withheld their runs and we won the game. We took good shots and made our free throws and out rebounded them.”
Eastern Michigan (9-9, 2-2 MAC) is 0-2 in conference rod game, and next play at instate rival Western Michigan at 7 p.m. in Kalamazoo, Mich.
“Feels great to end it, anytime a program beats your program 16 straight times you want to erase that.” Murphy said, “It’s over and we want to continue to build on these wins and take it into Western Michigan.”