Both Raven Lee and Karrington Ward scored over 20 points in the contest. It was the second time the duo has accomplished the feat in the same game this season, also reaching the scoring total versus Oakland, Nov. 17.
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Ward posted a team-high 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting and added a career-high six blocks, doubling up his previous personal best of three. Mike Talley recorded nine points and a team-high seven assists as a reserve.
The Green and White shot 29-of-65 for 44.6 percent, including 51.5 percent (17-of-33) in the second half. Eastern dominated the ballgame, recording points from a variety of sources: bench (44), paint (42), fastbreak (26) and off turnovers (24). EMU reached double digits in both steals and blocks with 11 and 10, respectively. Coach Rob Murphy's club also converted from the line, going 22-of-30 for 73.3 percent.
EMU held an opponent under 30 percent shooting for the third time this season as Coppin State (1-11) mustered just a 29.3 percent clip from the floor (22-of-75). Sterling Smith notched a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Arnold Fripp and Christian Kessee added 13 points apiece. The visiting Eagles tried to find success from beyond the arc by taking 34 threes, but they sank only nine of them for 26.5 percent rate.
Eastern started out the game cold, making just one of its first seven shots to allow Coppin State to jump out to an early 8-4 advantage going into the first media timeout. Coming out of the break, Ward knocked down a three from the wing and Talley added a fastbreak layup after a defensive stop, giving the Green and White its first lead of the game, 9-8, with 14:02 left in the first half. However, CSU answered with a 10-2 run over a three-minute span to make it a seven-point game, 18-11.
Realizing his team needed a spark, Lee stepped up to become the leader after entering the game off the bench for the first time this season. The redshirt-sophomore drilled a three from the top of the key before swiping the ball away from a CSU guard, leading to Talley getting fouled on a fastbreak.
Lee continued to do everything on the floor for Eastern Michigan by providing five points, three steals and two assists to allow the Green and White to regain the lead. Even with Lee going to the bench for a breather, Eastern continued its run to 19 consecutive points. Keeping Coppin State off the scoreboard for nine straight-minutes, EMU flipped the script from a seven-point hole into a 12-point cushion, 30-18, with less than three minutes to go in the first half.
The Eagles of Eastern Michigan took a 34-24 advantage going into the locker room. EMU exerted its force on defense causing 10 first-half turnovers by Coppin State to go along with eight steals and five blocks. Ward had three of those rejections as well as a team-high 11 points in the opening 20 minutes. Lee added nine points and four steals off the bench as well to prove his strong effort on both sides of the floor. The Green and White scored 15 points off of CSU turnovers, while holding a 12-2 difference in fastbreak points. As a team, Eastern made 12-of-32 from the field for a 37.5 percent clip. From the charity stripe, EMU knocked down foul line freebies by sinking 7-of-9.
Coppin State was led by nine points from Kessee and eight by Fripp. After making eight of its first 16 attempts from the field, CSU went 2-for-16 to end the half shooting just 31.3 percent (10-of-32. The visiting Eagles struggled from long range, going 3-for-13, as well as from the foul line by converting only 1-of-4 chances. In the rebounding category, Coppin State controlled the boards slightly, 23-20.
Coming out for the second half, Coppin State got within six points, but EMU did not allow the visitors to get closer. Using 10-straight points in less than three minutes, the Green and White built its largest lead of the game to that point, 46-30. The lead continued to escalate throughout the second half as Eastern Michigan continued to display its quickness to the bucket.
Trailing by 21, CSU cut the deficit to 10, 58-48, courtesy of an 11-0 run that included back-to-back-to-back threes in a 36-second span. However, the duo of Lee and Ward would not allow Coppin State to get within single digits. When the final buzzer sounded, Eastern Michigan was an 87-64 victor.
The Green and White will wrap up non-conference play on Sunday when they host nearby Concordia University (1 p.m.).