The Eagles played lock-down defense once again, as they finished with another double digit steal game, notching 13 takeaways and forcing 22 turnovers. To go along with the high turnover rate, they played extremely disciplined, committing 10 fouls throughout the entire game. As a result, Madonna only had five free throws in the 40 minutes. The size advantage was also evident for the Eagles. They outscored Madonna, 44-20, in the paint and outrebounded the Crusaders, 52-31.
The Eagles got it done on both sides of the ball early in the game, running out to a 20-4 lead midway through the first half. EMU forced the Crusaders with early defensive pressure, notching seven steals in the first ten minutes.
EMU continued to play consistently through the rest of the half, as they also forced three more steals, finishing with 10 in the first. To go along with the stifling defense, EMU held Madonna off the free throw line as the Crusaders went 0-for-2 from the charity stripe in the first half, while also holding them to just 25 percent shooting from the field.
Thompson got into double digits in the first 20 minutes with 12 points while also snagging seven rebounds. Using its advantages, EMU took a 38-16 lead at halftime.
The second half was more of the same for Eastern, as it extended the lead to 57-31 at the 10-minute mark. Mangum and Thompson combined for 13 of those points. In all, Thompson went for 11 points in the second half to lead the way.
The Green and White would go on to lead by as many as 25 points, yet Madonna would hit nine second half three point shots to keep it close. The Eagles prevailed in the end though with a 16-point victory.
Eastern will now leave the state of Michigan for the first time this season when it travels to Nebraska to take on the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.