The Eastern Michigan men’s basketball team did exactly what I thought it would do when it beat Bowling Green 73-67 Wednesday night at the Quicken Loans Arena.
It won a close game.
Offensively, the Eagles (21-12) provided a triple threat.
Ray Lee led all scorers with 27 points. Mike Talley added 21, and Karrington Ward scored 15, to go with 10 rebounds.
Jehvon Clarke and Richaun Holmes paced the Falcons (20-11) with 18 points.
Now that they have survived the heart-pounding excitement of Monday’s opening round MAC Tournament win over the Miami RedHawks, EMU can turn their attention to the Bowling Green Falcons. Tonight’s octofinal matchup promises to be another tightly-contested MAC Tourney battle, an opera of ornithological opposition. Let us take a look at what is at stake for both teams, and specifically for Rob Murphy’s continuing legacy.
Tonight EMU will face the Bowling Green Falcons in the eighth-finals — or octofinals, if you prefer — of the MAC tournament.
- #8 EMU vs. #5 Bowling Green
- Wednesday, March 11, 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time
- Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
- Television: Buckeye Cable Sports Network, TimeWarner Cable Sports, ESPN3, Comcast Infinity
- Online: ESPN3
- Radio: EMU broadcast on 89.1 WEMU-FM (online); Bowling Green broadcast on WFRO-FM 99.1 (online)
- Live stats: via EMUEagles.com
EMU’s game is the first game of the evening session (the men’s games) so that 6:30 tip-off time is solid. This game will be preceded by the second women’s game of the day, which features EMU against Toledo.
Up for some MAC Tourney talk, with a heavy focus on EMU? Geno Green had me on this morning to discuss Eastern’s chances in Cleveland, as well as the MAC Tournament in general.
Catch me at the 20 minute mark, or listen to the whole thing if you want to hear a Big East Tournament preview. Audio starts a little weak but gets stronger after the first question.
Expect more MAC Tourney coverage tomorrow. Enjoy the madness.
After the victory on Friday night, I wasn’t sure how the Eagles would react to this game. For the most part, this was an ugly game and with about 7 minutes to go, it seemed like Miami would be moving to Cleveland and the Eagles would be thinking about next season. But something changed in the dynamics and the Eagles started to wake up. They scored 14 of the last 19 points (I think) to send the game into overtime. Raven Lee was able to get a buzzer beating three pointer to do this and the Convocation Center was rocking.
It was a close overtime but the Eagles managed to prevail by 1 point. Good luck in Cleveland guys.
“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more … when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger.” – William Shakespeare, Henry V.
Yes, once more, for the Eastern Michigan men’s basketball team, the Mid-American Conference Tournament represents the full running of the gauntlet. Five wins in six days is what faces Rob Murphy and his squad if they hope to reach the ultimate goal — the NCAA Tournament.
On a night when Eastern needed help to keep their opening MAC Tournament game at home, they got everything they needed from Miami and Northern Illinois. As they say, God helps those that help themselves, they also gave themselves the big lift that they needed. The seniors were asked to deliver big and for the most part they did but they got some help from up and coming players.
EMU seniors finished the regular season in style, with a demoralizing demolishing of the Toledo Rockets. Mike Talley played what might have been his best game as an Eagle, Karrington Ward shook off a slow start, and Raven Lee was his usual dynamic self. As bad as the MAC opener against Ball State was, the MAC finale was EMU Hoops at its finest.
Before we look ahead to the MAC Tournament, a little attention must be paid to our Toledo amigos. What is is with Toledo press conferences? The only word I can use to describe the atmosphere during the Toledo PC is funerary. Given the fact that last year a certain Toledo head coach refused to answer a legit question about a controversial decision he made, I refuse to participate as anything other than spectator in these amusing events. I did manage to get a nice picture of Kowalczk after the game.
Believe it or not, the Eagles are not yet mathematically eliminated from being able to host their first game of the MAC Tournament. They need a lot to happen before that though, the most important of which is a victory over Toledo tomorrow night.