Too often the words “epic fail” are tossed around with little thought for whether or not the phrase was used appropriately. Today, while sitting in the stands at the Convocation Center, me and 887 of my closest friends watched Northern Illinois put the words epic fail to their most profound use since Napoleon invaded Russia. The halftime score of 18-4 said it all. And while Eastern certainly had nothing to brag about as far as offensive production was concerned, NIU failed. Epically.
Abdel Nader, NIU’s most productive player, shot 2-12 from the floor and 0-4 from three point range. Poor Akeem Springs was 0-10 from the floor and 0-7 from three point range. The dude who played “Shoot the hoop” during a media timeout was almost offered a NIU scholarship after hitting the half-court shot. The game mercifully ended with EMU on top 42-25.
I’d like to claim that it the Eagles’ smothering defense that was so brutally stifling. Da’Shonte Riley did play a very solid game, blocking five shots and showing skills and effort that have been missing for most part of the season. But to be honest, the performance by NIU was so dreadful that they would have lost to Siena Heights on this day. They did have open shots — and they missed them — especially from three. Northern was 1-33 from behind the arc. Epic. Fail.
The upshot is that Eastern moves on to a tough pair of contests on the road next week. Games at Ohio and Kent State could leave Eastern with a 3-5 MAC record when they return home the following week. Should we dare to hope that Eastern can steal a game on the road next week? Well, as long as we are talking about epic fails, the EMU 0-10 road record this season is about as close to epically failing as you can get.
For now, let’s just say it was nice to get revenge on NIU for last year’s loss in the MAC Tourney.
- Jalen Ross looked lost and confused today. I expect a freshman to be inconsistent, but with D.J. Cooper waiting for him next week, Ross had better put a complete game together or the Bobcats could put Eastern away early.
- Glenn Bryant, on the other hand, played well and continues to get more comfortable on the court. His athleticism is causing problems for smaller, slower MAC forwards. He just needs to stop taking threes for a while.
- I’d like to see J.R. Sims take the open threes that the opposition is giving him. He passed up a couple opportunities today that ended up resulting in turnovers or missed shots. Sims isn’t a great shooter, but he does have a knack for hitting the uncontested three.
- NIU coach Mark Montgomery was bordering on an outright conniption fit during the game. Just to be safe, I had 911 dialed on my phone and was ready to hit the call button and summon medical personnel if necessary.
- Speaking of epic fails, CBSSports put Kalamazoo as the byline for today’s record-setting game. Of course you, gentle reader, already know that the place for real EMU coverage is right here at Eagle Totem.
(Author’s note) CBSSports has corrected their original post with K-zoo as the byline for the thrill-a-minute romp between the Eagles and Huskies. I am making note of this because CBS fails (epically?) to do so in their revised article, and because it is what real journalists do when they make changes to their work that are factual in nature. Apparently the good folks at CBSSports went to Hollywood Upstairs Journalism School…