Trailing by as many as 12 in . . .
Overtime was nearly as exciting as regulation, but once UNF grabbed the lead off a pair of free throws, the home team never relinquished it again. EMU had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, but it could not get a shot off in time.
Junior James Thompson IV put together a monster performance for the Eagles, scoring a season-high 29 points and grabbing a season-best 15 boards for his sixth double-double of the campaign. Also registering a double-double, his first of the season, was Elijah Minnie, who scored 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
Joining the frontcourt duo in double-digit scoring was point guard Paul Jackson, who tossed in 18 points and grabbed a career-high five rebounds. Senior Tim Bond added eight points, eight boards, six steals, and four assists.
The Eagles once again got a slow start, struggling to a halftime score of 38-31. The Osprey shot an outstanding 47 percent from three in the opening half, and had all the momentum going into the break.
Eastern pushed its primary focus inside the paint in the second half and shot a blistering 52 percent from the floor. Unfortunately, North Florida continued to shoot well with a field goal percentage of 50 percent, and a three-point mark of 42 percent.
In the end, EMU outrebounded UNF 50-42, shot better from the charity stripe, 81 percent to 77 percent, and held a 54-32 advantage on points in the paint. Unfortunately for Eastern Michigan, North Florida connected on 43 percent of its threes (13-of-30), while the Eagles made just 14 percent (2-of-14).
Eastern returns to the friendly confines of the Convocation Center when it welcomes Oakland to town Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.