EMU Men’s Basketball Holds Off CMU, 79-74

By Published: 1/10/2018 6:41:02 AM Custom Tag

Ty Groce matches career-highs with 15 points and eight boards

Courtesy: Eastern Michigan Athletics

YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University men's basketball team earned its first Mid-American Conference victory of the season, holding off Central Michigan University, 79-74, Tuesday, Jan. 9, inside the Convocation Center.

The Eagles (10-6, 1-2 MAC) have won five consecutive matchups against the Chippewas (12-4, 1-2 MAC).

Redshirt junior Elijah Minnie (Pittsburgh, Pa.-Lincoln Park (Robert Morris)) paced the Green and White with 25 points and a pair of blocks, and was one of four Eagles with at least two steals. Junior James Thompson IV (Baton Rouge, La.-Parkview Baptist) secured his second consecutive double-double and 11th of the campaign, tallying 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting to go with a team-best 12 rebounds, six of which came on the offensive glass. Making his first career start, redshirt freshman Ty Groce (Ypsilanti, Mich.-Lincoln) matched career-highs with 15 points and eight boards. Senior Tim Bond (Baltimore, Md.-City College High School) added 10 points off the bench, while leading the Eagles with three thefts.

EMU shot a blistering 53.4 percent from the field, connecting on 31-of-58 field goal attempts, including 7-of-19 tries from beyond the arc. The Green and White out-rebounded the Chippewas, 31-28, and grabbed nine steals on 15 CMU turnovers. Five Eagles dished out at least two helpers as EMU out-assisted the visitors, 20-16.

The two in-state rivals went back and forth in a first half that featured seven ties and six lead changes. Trailing 22-20, a corner three from Groce put the Green and White back on top, 23-22, with 8:16 to go in the opening stanza. Down by as many as five, EMU fought back and eventually re-captured the lead when Bond inbounded the ball to Minnie for a layup to give the Eagles a 38-36 edge with 14 seconds left in the first frame. However, CMU restored parity on its next possession as the teams took a 38-38 tie into the intermission.

EMU was fired up to begin the second half, as Thompson's heavy two-handed slam capped an 8-0 run to give the Eagles a 46-38 lead with 17:02 left in the second half. After the Chippewas evened the score at 56-56, redshirt junior Jordan Nobles (Canton, Mich.-Canton) hit a corner three before freshman Malik Ellison (Flint, Mich.-Beecher) drove to the basket for a layup as the Green and White with exactly eight minutes remaining in the contest.

Tied 61-61, Minnie nailed a pair of three-point baskets as part of an 8-2 EMU run that put the Eagles ahead, 69-63, with 3:43 to go in regulation. Despite the Chippewas trimming Eastern's lead to 74-72, Nobles' nailed a mid-range jumper to give the Eagles a four-point cushion with 29 seconds left. CMU turned the ball over on its next possession, resulting in a two-handed dunk from Minnie that put the game beyond any doubt with 20.7 seconds on the clock. The Eagles knocked off the Chippewas by a five-point margin to improve to 8-1 this season inside the Convocation Center.

Eastern Michigan hits the road for one game, traveling to MAC West foe Northern Illinois, Saturday, Jan. 13. The Eagles and Huskies do battle at 3:30 CT.
Published: 1/10/2018 6:41:02 AM Custom Tag