Tuesday’s lopsided victory was EMU’s largest since it cruised to a 104-67 decision over Central Michigan University 18 years ago (Jan. 8, 1997).
Behind an impressive defensive display, Eastern held Ohio (7-11, 2-5 MAC) to its lowest point total since March 14, 1985, when the Bobcats fell to Kansas, 49-38, in the NCAA Midwest Regional.
Eleven Eagles scored in the onslaught, led by Ravel Lee’s 19 points. Joining him in double figures were Mike Talley (16) and Karrington Ward (12).
Eastern found success on offense, sinking 32-of-64 from the floor. The Eagles' defense, meanwhile, forced 18 Ohio turnovers and converted them into 24 points. EMU also dominated the paint, 44-18, and pushed the ball for a 24-2 advantage in fast break points.
Antonio Campbell posted a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds to pace the Bobcats in their setback. OU only made 22.8 percent of its shots from the field (13-of-57), including just 2-of-19 from beyond the arc. Ohio made nearly as many free throws as it did field goals, sinking 12-of-17 from the charity stripe.
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EMU's 2-3 zone continued to cause problems for the OU offense as the Bobcats made just five of their 31 first half shots for a 16.1 percent clip, including 0-of-11 from three-point land. The scoring struggles allowed the Eagles to build a 19-point cushion as Lee started to heat up from the floor, knocking down a triple to make it a 31-12 contest. Eastern held the Ohio without a field goal for the final 5:22 of the first half, but four OU free throws down the stretch saw the Eagles take a 31-16 advantage into the locker room.
Lee led the way with 11 points in the opening stanza, going 5-of-8 from the floor. Talley was a perfect 4-of-4 from the stripe and added a pair of field goals for eight points, while Ward chipped in with six points. As a team, the Eagles made 44.8 percent from the field (13-of-29), but went just 1-of-9 from long range. EMU had trouble taking care of the basketball, turning the ball over 10 times in the first half, but Ohio only scored two points off of the miscues. The Eagles also controlled the paint, scoring as many points in that area as the Bobcats' entire first half total.
Campbell scored a team-high six points and hauled in seven rebounds as Ohio's only real threat in the first half. The 16 points allowed by the EMU defense was the fewest surrendered to a Division I opponent in one half all season long.
Coming out for the second half, Ward quickly kept the momentum in favor of the Eagles by delivering a slam. The Lockport, Ill. native added a jumper, and Brandon showed his ability to create at the rim with an up-and-under move to increase the lead to 37-16. Meanwhile, Ohio's offensive woes continued as the Bobcats missed their first five shots of the second half.
The 10-minute field goal drought finally ended for OU with a bucket down in the post, but Lee drilled a three from the top of the key on EMU's next possession to double up the Bobcats, 44-22. After trading baskets, the Eagles went on an 8-0 run and cruised home for the victory.
Eastern Michigan will remain at home for its next contest, hosting rival Western Michigan Saturday as part of a doubleheader with the EMU women's basketball team. The MAC West Division showdown will begin at noon followed by the women taking on Buffalo at 2:30 p.m.
Ohio travels to Central Michigan for a 4:30 p.m. ET tilt.