YPSILANTI, Mich. —- Once again the bright sunshine blazed a path across the snow drifts and the air temperature is a quick reminder that this is Michigan in January, the Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball hosted the regions Boy Scouts and the Central Michigan University Chippewas Sunday afternoon at the Convocation Center.
Eastern Michigan University stepped onto the court with a purpose this Sunday afternoon, they were ready for business. The Eagles used a simple business plan and defeated Central Michigan University 41-38, in front of a loud home crowd.
The Eagles almost let a good defensive effort slip away late in the game, when senior power forward Brandon Bowdry attempt to get the ball into play let the pass get away and it was picked up by Central Michigan guard Antonio Weary and he put up a shot beyond the arc for three points.
The Eagle defense clamped down on the Chippewas and made it hard for their point guard to get any kind of rhythm. Central Michigan University shot just 13.3 percent from the floor in the first half and the Chippewas finished the game shooting just 23 percent from the field.
“It is funny about defense when you get stops it is usually the other way around when you score or it picks up your offense intensity,” Eastern Michigan University basketball coach Charles Ramsey said. “In the first half we got some scores it really had us invigorating defensively.”
The Eagle defense created exactly what Ramsey wanted – his defense created a transition offense which made the Chippewas defense uncomfortable.
“That was one of things obviously Brandon was not playing one of his better games. The other guys stepped up and did not miss a beat and that growth started at Western Michigan,” Ramsey said after the game. “We played well without him the majority of that game. But are defensive effort tonight _the lowest in Convocation Center record and a conference game, I will take our defensive effort at home.”
The Chippewas game plan was simple to see they wanted to get Bowdry out of his comfort zone and play physical and get him uncomfortable but Bowdry played a strong game and did a good job described by Ramsey in keeping his emotion in control.
“In my opinion he is the best post player in the conference,” Central Michigan University basketball coach Ernie Zeigler said about Bowdry. “He had to fight and he battled through he showed poise.”
Bowdry finished the game with six points and eight rebounds but his blunder in the later moments of the second half-would have sent Ramsey into the emergency room.
Stepping up for the Eagles senior Jay Higgins, sophomore Jamell Harris and point guard Darrell Lampley together they played hard by creating a pressure defense and it kept the Chippewas struggling offensively.
Harris played strong in the middle and made plenty of Chippewas alter their shots but he also had five block shots and one steal. He chipped in three points and pulled in five rebounds.
Ramsey said Harris is a bona-fide shot blocker maybe the best in the Mid-American Conference.
“Jay Higgins worked his behind off. We had a game plan, we asked him because we wanted to see how Tray (Zeigler) would function with that type of pressure and we played man-to man in a half,” Ramsey said about his two players. “Jamell he can grow, his defense is ahead of his offense. He is probably the best shot blocker in the conference as you saw on display today.”
Higgins scored six points and pulled down five rebounds but his hard work shutting down Zeigler is what Ramsey wanted from his senior guard.
Leading the Eagles offensively guard Derek Thompson with 11 points and four rebounds and Lamply played for 29 minutes and scored 11 points.
“Derek stepped us for us early he was big,” Ramsey said about Thompson’s effort. “I did not think he would play today he was under the weather and I kind of challenged his manhood and he stepped up big and he did it in away people are not used to seeing he drove the ball and it caught them off guard.”
Like the Boy Scouts motto that were the guest of the Eagles on this bright sunny Sunday afternoon, Eastern Michigan University came out of the locker room focused and prepared to do battle with what is becoming rival game.
Eastern Michigan University travels to Athens, Ohio Wednesday night to face the premier offense of the conference at Ohio University at their home the Convocation Center and the schedule tip off is at 7 p.m.
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.