Despite leading by just four at the half, the Eagles' (5-3) offense exploded for 48 second half points and held the Titans (1-6) to just six field goal makes in the second half on their way to downing Detroit Mercy in Calihan Hall for the first time since 1988.
Senior Willie Mangum IV was . . .
The Eagles opened up the scoring with a thunderous alley-oop from redshirt senior Quaran Jones to Lee, but the Titans went on a quick 12-0 run to take a 12-2 lead with 16:17 left in the first half. Thompson broke the Eagles' scoring drought with a free throw, which sparked a 15-5 run for EMU to knot things up at 17-17 with 11:43 to go in the half.
The two squads began to trade buckets until Eastern was able to retake the lead with 7:24 left in the half, 23-21, and EMU held on for the remainder of the first half. Eastern extended that lead up to six, 30-24, with just under six minutes to go. The two squads then went back-and-forth for the remainder of the half, as the Green and White came into the break with a four-point, 39-35, lead.
Mangum led the offense with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting, with three long balls, while Thompson added seven points and six rebounds. EMU turned the ball over just four times, while forcing UDM into nine first half turnovers. The Eagles shot 44.1 percent from the floor and outrebounded Detroit Mercy, 17-16.
Lee opened the scoring again in the second half, knocking down a mid-range jumper to give his team a six point lead, 41-35. After a quick bucket by UDM, the Eagles took off on a 15-0 run, capped off by a three-ball from Jordan Nobles to give Eastern a 19-point, 56-37.
After trading buckets, the Eagles again scored six-straight to jump out to a 24-point advantage, 65-41, with just under 12 minutes to go. The Green and White maintained a 20-plus point lead through much of the remaining half and EMU was able to extend its lead to as many as 30, 84-54. The Eagles outscored the Detroit, 48-26, in the final 20 minutes of play on the way to an 87-61 victory.
Eastern takes a long break from the hardwood and will not play until Dec. 11, when the Eagles welcome Siena Heights University at the Convocation Center. The game is scheduled for 2 p.m.