YPSILANTI, Mich. —- Eastern Michigan University forward Derek Thompson had the ball in his hand, he had the look and it was a good look he rose above the hands of the Miami University defense and it appeared that he released the ball as the time expired on the clock and the ball made that beautiful sound when it passed through the nylon mesh.
The adoration of the 1,178 brave souls that did not let another blizzard stop them from getting into their seats of the friendliest basketball arena in the Mid-American Conference-the Convocation Center, they all stood up as one nation and poured out their emotion onto the court with approval – suddenly just like the this basketball season defined for the Eagles the sound of the whistle and the wave-off from the referee and just like that the sounds of excitement turned into the sounds of disbelief.
Victory over Miami University snatched away from the Eastern Michigan University Eagles instead they had to walk off the court after losing a 20 point lead and losing to the RedHawks 58-56.
Lifting the RedHawks to the win was the effort of freshman Jon Harris as he scored a two point basket with just two seconds remaining in regulation before Thompson’s heroic effort.
“He is a good freshman, by that I mean between me and him we have not yet gelled,” Miami University basketball coach Charlie Coles said about Harris. “He has got a lot of raw talent. He is going to be a good, good kid.”
“It is the most exciting win probably since 2007 when we hit that shot in the Mid-American Conference Tournament,” Cole said about Harris’s basket.
Harris finished the game shooting 5 of 6 for 14 points and getting three rebounds playing just the last nine minutes of the game.
Like the snow that came down Saturday afternoon the Eagles defense covered Miami and forced them to shoot a very cold 18.5 percent from the floor and the Eagles took a 28-15 lead into the break.
In the second half the Eagles continue to shoot well and extended the lead by 20 points but Harris connected on consecutive three point jump shots cutting the margin to three points with 1:44 left in the game.
With 23 seconds left the Eagles had a chance to put some distance between them and the RedHawks but senior forward Jay Higgins drove to the basket for a lay-up and the ball bounced off of the rim and fell over to the other side of the rim into the waiting hands of Harris.
“It is not a good thing that we are playing from behind but it is a good thing that we have come back in two straight games,” Coles said about his team’s recent adventures on the court. “To be down by so much and then to come back and win the game, this group of kids came together. They made a bunch of mistakes but they played well enough to win.”
Leading scorer for the Eagles power forward Brandon Bowdry scored 19 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for another double-double, his 35th in his Eagle career, J.R. Sims scored 13 points and Thompson finished with eight points.
The Eagles shot 40 percent for the game but for the season the Eagles rank 329 in the nation with a shooting percentage of 38 percent.
The RedHawks offense found the holes in the Eastern Michigan University defense and scored 42 points in the second half working their way back into the game and leaving with the win.
Eastern Michigan University next game will be a road trip Wednesday night February 9, 2011 into Kent, Ohio and to play Kent State University, the tipoff is scheduled for 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.