YPSILANTI, Mich. — The dog days of winter have arrived and as the snow gives up its dominance to cover the ground with a blanket of white only to give away to the bright sunshine and warmer days signaling the end of the basketball season is not too far off of the distance.
Eastern Michigan University traveled to the middle of the mitten and to the charming city of Mount Pleasant, Michigan with a date facing their rival Central Michigan University inside the newly renovated McGurik Arena.
The 2,095, Chippewas fans that left the arena approving at the way the Chippewas came onto the court and took care of business at home and defeated the Eagles 66-60 only to cast a colder shadow on the 2011 Eagle basketball season.
Central Michigan University offense shot an impressive 52 percent from the field, including 5 of 15 from behind the three point arc. The Eagles continue their shooting miscues by only able to hit 34.5 percent of their shots from the court.
Eastern Michigan University tried to make a comeback, trailing at least by two buckets for most of the second half; the Eagles were able to pull close to the Chippewas, trailing by just two points with just a minute left in regulation.
Eagle point guard Darrell Lampley hit two free throws and crated some concern for Central Michigan University basketball coach Ernie Zeigler.
Eastern Michigan University power forward Brandon Bowdry committed his fifth foul prior to the attempt to comeback by the Eagles, Bowdry and his 13 points were sitting next to Eastern Michigan University basketball coach Charles Ramsey on the Eagles sideline.
Bowdry watch as his defensive responsibility the freshman of the year canadate in the Mid-American Conference, Trey Zeigler take control of the final minute of the game, he recognized the hole in the defense and made the Eagles pay.
Zeigler finished the game with 24 points hitting 11 of 14 shots, teammates John Morris and Derek Jackson each added 11 points for the Chippewas.
Leading scorer for the Eagles Derek Thompson 14 points and Lampley added 12 points, post player Jamell Harris did not have any block shots but he did make some of the Chippewas change and alter their shots Harris scored 10 points and pulled down seven rebounds.
The last time these two teams met back on January 23, 2011, the Eagles were able to place a defensive blanket around Ziegler and the Chippewas offense could only score a Convocation Center record for a visiting team of 38 points.
It was an effort that Ramsey said sat basketball back to the peach basket days but he would take an ugly win over a pretty defeat any day.
Eastern Michigan University chances for getting warm in time for the Mid-American Conference Tournament is quickly slipping away just like the melting snow but one thing that can help the Eagles is the ability to make free throws.
Ramsey said his team works every day in practice on shooting free throws, “The beginning of practice, the middle of practice and at the end,” he explained. “We take them when we are fresh and when we are tired, it is mental.”
This season the Eagles are shooting a non impressive 64.5 percent from the free throw line.
The Eagles took eight more foul shot than the Chippewas but could only convert 16 of 23 free throws for 69 percent, scoring points with the benefit of a stopped clock is an advantage for any team including the Eagles.
Eastern Michigan University will be a part of the ESPN Bracket Buster Saturday afternoon, February 19, 2011 at the friendliest basketball arena in the Mid-American Conference the Convocation Center.
The Eagles will roll out the welcome mat for Ohio Valley Conference member the hard working Jacksonville State University Gamecocks, the game is the second part of a double-hitter and is scheduled to begin at 4:30 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.