YPSILANTI, Mich. —- Uncle Mel sat in his seat inside the historical home of the University of Toledo Savage Arena, Saturday night until they turned off the lights in the arena because Uncle Mel could not have believed what he really had witnessed-the Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team stepped off of the team bus and entered the historical arena and stayed focused for the entire game.
Neices and nephews it was a wonderful sight to behold !
Eagles power forwaed Brandon Bowdry with his 32nd career double-double help the Eagles walked off the Bob Nichols Court with a 71-48 victory under their belt.
Eastern Michigan University basketball coach Charles Ramsey said after the game, he can see the improvement and that his team is maturing right before his eyes.
“We are and trying to figure out how to win close one,” Ramsey said. “The kids did a good job of battling and putting them in position, we just have to figure out a way now to get across that threshold.”
An area that has improved for the Eagles is the play of the point guard Darrell Lampley he is improving with every game, and he is making giant strides in understanding how important it is for him in recognizing the defense and his ability to control the tempo of the offense for the Eagles.
Lampley played 33 minutes for the Eagles and scored 14 points but he also finished the game with six assist and two turnovers, Ramsey says Lampley improvement is getting better but he says he can even get better but it just all part of the process.
Another area that worried Uncle Mel, the Eagles needed to find a player that would provide some heart, a player willing to get dirty and make his team play better and suddenly the inspirational play of 6-10 post player Kamil Janton who is playing with a purpose and Ramsey says Janton is taking advantage of the playing minutes he is given.
Janton is an option for Ramsey from the bench and Saturday night he did all of the little things that gives a team some character, Janton set some bone jarring picks, he made some huge rebounds and got the pass out to get the Eagles into a transition game and he did not hesitate to dive on the floor in trying to reach a loose ball.
Janton scored 10 points and pulled down seven rebounds in 24 minutes but he also provided some emotion for his team causing his name to be lifted toward the rafter of Savage Arena by Bowdry.
Eastern Michigan University will be home at the friendliest basketball arena in the Mid-American Conference, the Convocation Center, Tuesday night against Northern Illinois University beginning at 7 p.m.
The Huskies are leaving the coldest arena in the league with bitterness and trying to get over the 75-70 defeat to a West Division rival Ball State University Saturday night.
Northern Illinois University basketball coach Ricardo Patton expressed some disappointment and frustration after the Huskies poor defensive effort against the Cardinals but he says he thought the offense did a nice job shooting 45 percent from the floor and four players scoring in double figures.
“I think when you lose and those wounds are self-inflicted, that hurts more than the loss,” Patton said. “I can take a loss when the opponent is just better. For me this is a tough loss because – Temple was a better team, Missouri was a better team. This is a game you are supposed to win at home.”
Patton and the rest of the Huskies will be looking for senior leadership from Xavier Silas Tuesday night, against Ball State University Silas scored 15 points and he is sixth in the nation with a scoring average of 24 points and has scored in double figures for the Huskies in 33 games.
The Eagles will want to limit the Huskies trips to the free throw line, they a ranked 36th in the nation and are the best in the Mid-American Conference making 73.7 percent of their free throws.
“It is huge to win the opening game of the conference but now we have to validate the win,” Ramsey said after the game Saturday night.
A victory against Northern Illinois would validate Saturday night’s effort because Ramsey says winning is contagious and it can infect the team – if the Eagles step on the floor at the Convocation Center with the same degree of determination against the Huskies as they showed against Toledo then it will be Northern Illinois University leaving the Convocation Center in the dark.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.