EMU was hot on both ends of . . .
Senior Willie Mangum IV led the Eastern Michigan scoring attack with 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting, including 5-of-12 from downtown. Redshirt senior Ray Lee added his third-straight 20-plus point scoring performance, going 7-of-11 from the floor and 3-of-5 from three point land.
Additionally, sophomore James Thompson IV added another double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while going 9-of-11 from the free throw line. Thompson also recorded two blocks and a steal. Junior Tim Bond stuffed the box score, netting 11 points, nine assists, three steals, two rebounds and a block in the win.
The Eagles and Huskies traded blows early on and NIU led 10-8 at the first media timeout. Lee paced EMU early on with a pair of three pointers. The three balls continued to rain as Mangum and Lee hit two more giving EMU a four point lead at the 15 minute mark.
An 11-2 run catapulted the Eagles ahead, 25-12, at the 10:46 mark, and EMU remained red hot from three as Bond drilled Eastern's fifth from deep. That gave Eastern its largest lead to that point, 28-13, with less than 10 minutes until the half.
From there, the Huskies began to chip away at the double-digit lead, whittling it down to nine, 36-27, with 4:30 remaining in the half.
A minute and a half later, NIU trailed by just seven, but a jumper from Lee and two Bond free throws got the lead back to 11 with a minute and a half left. EMU was held without a field goal the rest of the way, taking a nine point lead, 44-35 into the locker room.
Eastern came out firing on all cylinders in the second frame, going on a 10-2 run to race back out to a 17-point lead, 54-37. The lead went to a game-high 21 after an NIU timeout just four minutes into the half.
The Huskies continued to chip away, getting the lead back down to 11 with 13 minutes to go before Mangum began to heat up again, knocking down two more three pointers to get the lead back up to 17, 66-49, with just under 11 minutes to play.
Mangum drilled his fifth 3- pointer a minute later, sparking EMU to an 18-point lead, which went to 20 on an ally-oop to Thompson with seven minutes left. EMU held that steady lead into the final media timeout. Down the stretch, NIU could only get within 16, which was the final margin of victory, 84-68.
Eastern will get back into action for its final regular season road tilt next Tuesday, Feb. 28 against Central Michigan. Tip-off from Mount Pleasant is set for 7 p.m.
Northern Illinois will host Western Michigan (8 p.m. ET)