It was an emotional bounce-back victory for EMU, which suffered its only loss of the season Saturday at Dayton (73-64). The Eagles, who started the campaign with eight home games, won all eight and added their first road victory in two outings by edging UM.
Michigan, meanwhile, suffered its second embarrassing defeat in less than a week. The Wolverines also lost on the same court to the New Jersey Institute of Technology, 72-70, Saturday.
Michigan’s last win was against Syracuse, 68-65, on Dec. 2. However, UM was unable to prevail against former Syracuse assistant and current EMU head coach Rob Murphy. Michigan struggled mightily at times against the vaunted Eagles 2-3 zone.
Eastern Michigan, led by 11 points from Jordan Price, used strong rebounding and an off shooting night from Michigan (6-3) to gain the win. Mike Talley added nine points, and Karrington Ward finished with seven, including a 3-pointer with 3:23 to go that put the Eagles up by three down the stretch. Both teams made one more field goal in a game where defenses dominated.
Michigan’s Caris LeVert scored seven of his 10 points in the second half, but he missed a 3-pointer that would have tied the game with 22 seconds to go. Zak Irvin finished with 10 after missing all four of his first-half shots. Derrick Walton added nine, and the Wolverines shot just 32.6 percent from the field.
The Eagles coughed up seven turnovers in the first 7 minutes. But for the second straight game, the Wolverines couldn't take advantage of an opponent's slow start.
Michigan shot just 5-of-19 from the field and 1-of-10 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes. At one point, the Wolverines missed 12 consecutive attempts, never finding the offensive efficiency that John Beilein-coached teams are known for.
After a 9-0 run gave Eastern Michigan a five-point lead midway through the second half, the Wolverines tried to pull out of the doldrums.
A 3-pointer from Irvin gave Michigan a 40-38 lead at 4:48, but Eastern Michigan closed out the final minutes with Ward's critical 3-pointer and a final nail in the coffin from Price.
Irvin's last-second prayer clanged off the rim, and Eastern Michigan walked away with a win.
EMU returns to action Wednesday, Dec. 17 when it gets another big intrastate test – this time against Michigan State in East Lansing (9 p.m. ET).