EMU Hoops Holds Off Miami, 58-57

By Published: 2/14/2018 6:35:50 AM Custom Tag

Minnie tallies 24 points and nine rebounds in nail-biting win

Courtesy: Eastern Michigan Athletics

YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University men's basketball team bounced back from a tough road loss over the weekend with a hard-fought 58-57 victory over Miami University Tuesday, Feb. 13, inside the Convocation Center.

The Eagles (15-10, 6-7 MAC) completed the season sweep over the RedHawks 13-13 (6-7 MAC) and have won each of the last six matchups against Miami. The in-season sweep marks the first time for EMU over Miami since the 1988 season.

Redshirt junior Elijah Minnie (Pittsburgh, Pa.-Lincoln Park (Robert Morris)) reached the 20-point plateau for the 11th time this season, leading the Green and White with 24 points while adding nine rebounds, three blocks, and two assists. Junior James Thompson IV (Baton Rouge, La.-Parkview Baptist) recorded 14 points along with a team-high 14 boards and four blocks for his 18th double-double of the campaign. Redshirt junior Paul Jackson (Stone Mountain, Ga.-Martin Luther King Jr. (Eastern Kentucky)) tallied 11 points and was one of four Eagles to contribute at least two assists.

With Eastern ahead 58-57, the RedHawks grabbed a defensive rebound off a missed free throw and called their final timeout with 9.3 ticks left in regulation. Miami had a chance to win in the waning moments, but senior Tim Bond (Baltimore, Md.-City College High School) captured his team-best fifth steal of the night as the Eagles held on for a one-point victory to improve to 11-3 inside the Convocation Center this season.

EMU finished 39.2 percent from the floor, converting 20-of-51 field goal attempts, including seven triples. Miami went 40.8 percent (20-of-49) from the field, but committed 18 turnovers. The Green and White out-blocked the RedHawks by an 8-2 margin and out-rebounded Miami, 33-30.

After falling behind 5-0 in the opening minutes, the Eagles responded with a 10-0 run to grab a 10-5 advantage with 14:57 to go in the first half. Leading 10-9, Minnie's corner three capped an 11-0 run and put the Green and White in front, 21-9, with 8:16 to go in the first frame.

In total, the Eagles went on an 18-2 run, holding the RedHawks without a field goal for over 11 minutes, and built a commanding 28-11 lead with under three minutes remaining in the first half. EMU was in control for the vast majority of the frame and took a commanding 33-18 lead into the locker room.

The RedHawks opened the second half with a 16-3 run and cut EMU's lead to 36-34, but the Green and White fought back with an 11-2 run of their own to take a 47-36 lead, prompting Miami to burn a 30-second timeout with 8:12 to play in the second half. In front 51-46, freshman Malik Ellison (Flint, Mich.-Beecher) buried a corner three to give EMU an eight-point cushion with 4:12 left in the final frame.

With EMU leading 56-55, the RedHawks had the ball with a chance to take the lead, but an errant Miami pass ended up out of bounds with 1:04 left in regulation. At the other end, Jackson drained an elbow jumper to put the Eagles on top, 58-55, with 47 seconds remaining in the second half.

Eastern Michigan hits the road for a quick trip to rival Central Michigan, Saturday, Feb. 17 as part of a double-header with the Eastern women's team. Action is set to begin at 4:30 p.m.
Published: 2/14/2018 6:35:50 AM Custom Tag