OXFORD, OH -- It’s one thing to see Eastern Michigan’s defense on video and another thing to actually play against it. Prepare as they might, the young Miami RedHawks got a first hand look at the Eagles Saturday, and EMU left an impression.
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Eastern Michigan (13-8, 5-3 MAC) held Miami (9-12, 2-6 MAC) to 35.1 percent from the field and got a big night from James Thompson IV on the way to a 74-57 victory over MU. It was the Eagles first win in Oxford since 1996.
Thompson, a 6-10 sophomore . . .
"Thompson was terrific," Miami head coach John Cooper said. "I thought he dominated the flow of the game (and) we couldn't get him off the boards. When he gets the ball, it's his and then he finishes."
Cooper also noted Thompson was part of a very physical and athletic EMU defense that made it tough to score inside. "There were about 18 (or) 20 times when we got the ball within two feet of the rim, and we couldn't score -- whether it was (just) a miss or they intimidated us with their athleticism. ... They had 11 blocked shots, and I think all 11 of them were at the rim."
Offensively, Willie Mangum IV joined Thompson in double figures with 12 points, while Tim Bond owned 10 points and grabbed six steals.
Miami, meanwhile, was led by junior Logan McLane with 14 points and five boards. Freshmann forward Marcus Weathers scored 14 points and registered a team-high eight rebounds. Jake Wright came off the bench to contribute 12 points, including two of Miami’s three treys.
Eastern Michigan took an early lead, running out to a 17-3 lead. Frustrated by the Eagles zone defense, MU did not register its second field goal until Michael Weathers tallied on an and-one at 12:00. It would be the only basket of the night for Weathers, who is averaging 18.1 ppg. The freshman was 1 of 8 from the field and committed nine turnovers. He also took a nasty fall while trying to finish a breakaway in the second half, although he was able to return.
Tim Bond’s trey with one tick left gave Eastern Michigan a 41-27 advantage. The Eagles connected on 51.9 percent from the field in the period and were 4 of 8 on treys. They would not hit a 3-ball the rest of the way.
The Eagles already had a 15-8 advantage in points off turnovers.
A steal and layup by Bond in the first 10 seconds after intermission kicked off a 6-0 run that put EMU up by 20 (47-27) and the visitors coasted in the rest of the way. Miami pulled to within a dozen just once.
Points in the paint: 38-28
Second chance points: 10-2
Fast break points: 8-2
Bench points: 28-17
Eastern Michigan hit 27-of-59 (45.8%) field goals overall. The Eagles were 4 of 14 on treys and 16 of 20 at the line.
Miami was good on 35.1 percent from the field. After going 0 for 5 on triples in the first half, MU hit 3 of 10 after intermission for 20 percent outside the arc over two periods.
"When you have eight kids that have not faced (the EMU 2-3 zone), I was extremely concerned about that," Cooper said. "You cannot simulate that defense in practice (and) you can't even as you watch it on tape get a feel for it."
The RedHawks, who have now lost six of their last seven outings, will be at Bowling Green Tuesday (7 p.m. ET).
Eastern Michigan hosts Kent State Tuesday (7 p.m. ET).