KALAMAZOO, Mich. —- What could be better for Uncle Mel than spending an exciting Sunday afternoon inside the loudest basketball arena in the Mid-American Conference that is tuck neatly inside the campus of Western Michigan University and near the snow covered shore of the icy cold Kalamazoo River?
The answer is simply – Nothing is better than watching the Eastern Michigan University Eagles take on another rival in the conference, a chance to make some serious noise in the West Division.
Eastern Michigan University basketball coach Charles Ramsey making a tough decision benched his all-conference player power forward Brandon Bowdry because of being too emotional at the end of the 71-69 defeat Tuesday night’s game against Northern Illinois University.
Western Michigan University defeated Eastern Michigan University 65-48 without Bowdry this was a chance for some of the other players for Eastern Michigan University to step up and play but the shots did not fall for the Eagles and every bounce seemed to be near a Bronco.
The Eagles played with a lot of grit and heart without Bowdry, the defensive effort showed determination and the offense slowed the tempo down but also looked for some leadership.
Eagle guard Derek Thompson led the Eastern Michigan University with 17 points; he was the only Eagle to score in double figures.
There were plenty of dark green uniformed players diving for lose balls but there were also too many miscues and missed shots by the Eagle offense, Eastern Michigan University committed 17 turnovers that the Broncos converted into 13 points.
What started out to be a close contest started to turn very ugly for the Eagles with 1:27 left in the first half the Broncos pushed the their lead to six points bulge and left the court at halftime leading the Eagles 27-21.
Coming back onto the floor for the second half, the Eagles were ready to make a statement but after the first five minutes what started to make Western Michigan University basketball coach Steve Hawkins nervous enough for him to take off his jacket and pace the sideline- became no statement at all.
Hawkins said after the game his team’s effort showed balance, good timing and patients and he said that is a lesson that he is hoping that his team remembers for future games.
The Broncos played a strong inside game, center Matt Stainbrook lead Western Michigan University finishing the game with 17 points and seven rebounds.
Ramsey said Stainbrook played a nice game and understands his role on the court.
“He is fundamentally sound he dose not do anything outside that he can do,” Ramsey said about the Bronco’s post player. “He understands the angles and he understands how to play.”
The entire second half effort the Eagles searched for an offense and a player to shoot the ball with some type accuracy, the success of Eastern Michigan University offense begins with a strong defensive effort but against the Broncos the Eagles defense struggled in providing stops which did not produce offense flow.
The Eagles in the second half only made eight shots and finish the game 18 of 29 from the field every chance for the offense failed and from the free throw line the Eagles shot a poor 37 percent from the charity stripe.
“I thought that we did terrific job especially coming out in the second half we had a very nice defensive stand and I think we took the lead by one point,” Ramsey said about his team’s effort after the game. “At one point we did not do a good job at scoring we have to continue to score, we had too many empty possessions and we could not get anything easy.”
“It is not about effort, it is about result,” Ramsey said.
The next game for the Eagles wills a home contest at the Convocation Center, Wednesday night at 7 p.m. against Ball State University.
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.