EMU (1-0) struggled to separate from Rochester (4-2) out of the gate, and even trailed with 5:31 to go. However, Eastern outscored the Warriors 11-4 over the final five minutes to secure the victory.
Redshirt senior Paul Jackson led the way for Eastern with a career-high 27 points, as well as a game-high seven assists. Making a crucial contribution in his first game as an Eagle was redshirt junior Boubacar Toure, who put up a career-best 15 points and registered the first double-double of his career with 15 boards.
Joining Jackson and Toure in double-figure scoring was another newcomer in junior Damari Parris, who had a career-best 15 points and career-high six rebounds in his debut. Senior James Thompson IV finished the game with 12 points and six rebounds.
The Eagles held an advantage in overall shooting percentage (53.4 to 38.5), but the Warriors held their own in the game because of their three-point shooting, knocking down 11 triples compared to four for the Green and White.
EMU held a significant rebound advantage, 46 to 26, and committed 20 turnovers, while forcing RC into just 15. The Eagles, who led the Mid-American Conference in both steals and blocks a season ago, finished with nine steals and seven blocks.
Eastern returns to action Friday, Nov. 9, against Drexel University. The Eagles and Dragons play the front end of an Education Day doubleheader with the EMU women's basketball team, tipping off the day's action at 11 a.m.