LOUISVILLE, Ky. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan Eagles hit the road Saturday, Dec. 12, to take on the No. 22/19 Louisville Cardinals (7-1) and came away empty-handed, falling, 86-53, at the KFC Yum! Center.
Freshman James Thompson IV notched his sixth double-double in . . .
Redshirt junior Raven Lee led all-scorers with a season-high 19 points, recording his best game from the floor during the 2015-16 campaign. The 6-foot-3 combo guard went 5-of-10 from the floor while connecting on 3-of-6 three-point field goal attempts.
Thompson's sixth double-double came by way of 12 points and 13 rebounds on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor. Junior Ty Toney grabbed eight points and five assists in the loss, while senior Brandon Nazione was able to grab eight rebounds for Eastern Michigan.
The Green and White struggled from the floor, knocking down just 19-of-64 shots for 29.7 percent, while going 4-of-26 (15.4 percent) from three-point land.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, were red hot from the floor, shooting 53.4 percent (31-of-58) for the game and connecting on 8-of-22 three-pointers. U of L had five players in double-digits with Damion Lee heading the charge with 16 points, while Quentin Snider recorded 13.
Junior Willie Mangum IV opened the scoring in the first half, knocking down a mid-range jumper on a feed from Toney. The Cardinals responded with a triple to take an early, 3-2, lead with 17:40 left in the game. Thompson answered with a dunk on the other end, but the Green and White's lead didn't last long as Louisville knocked down a pair of three-pointers to jump ahead, 9-4, with 14:29 remaining in the first half.
Eastern Michigan responded with four points in a row but a Ray Spalding dunk sparked another Cardinal run as U of L took an eight-point, 16-8, lead at the 11:03 mark in the first half. Louisville outscored the Eagles 21-13 through the final 11 minutes of play, leading Eastern into half time, trailing 37-21 at the break.
Toney led the Green and White in scoring in the opening half with six points and all three Eagles' assists, while Nazione added five points. Lee and Thompson added four points apiece. The Green and White struggled from the floor, hitting just 31 percent (9-of-29) of their field goal opportunities while shooting 0-of-11 from the long line. Conversely, the Cardinals connected on over 50 percent of their shots, while hitting 41.7 percent (5-of-12) of their three-point attempts.
Louisville hit the scoreboard first in the second stanza, starting 2-of-2 from the floor and grabbing a 20-point advantage, 41-21, just over a minute into the second half. Louisville tacked on another six points before Eastern broke the seal on a Thompson putback tip-in and a Toney layup on the next possession, cutting the Cardinal lead to 22, 47-25.
Looking at a 51-25 deficit, the Green and White saw redshirt junior Jodan Price knock down Eastern's first triple of the game, but the Cardinals responded with a Trey Lewis three-ball of their own.
Louisville saw its top-scorer on the year, Damion Lee knock down two threes in as many trips down the floor, stretching the Cardinals' lead out to 32 before EMU's Raven Lee responded with a pair of three-balls in back-to-back possessions. Trailing by 26 with 11:02 left in the game, the Cardinals scored 11 in a row to extend the lead to 37.
Through the remainder of the game, the Green and White was unable to mount the necessary comeback and dropped a 86-53 decision in the Bluegrass State.
Eastern Michigan closes out the road portion of its non-conference schedule Monday, Dec. 21, when the Eagles travel to Baltimore, Md. to square off with Coppin State University. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. at the CSU Physical Education Complex.