MUNCIE, Ind. —- With the sky outside of the most prestigious arena in the Mid-American Conference and the home of the Ball State University Cardinals – Worthen Arena turning gray and ugly full of snow but inside the atmosphere inside is nice and warm for the meeting between the Cardinals and Eastern Michigan University.
Eastern Michigan University came from behind and defeated Ball State University 56-50 and put an end to the 11-game losing streak.
“For us to get a road victory the first of the season is extremely important in moving forward. Where we are in the standings, we have a lot to make up,” Eastern Michigan University basketball coach Rob Murphy said. “I am happy with the win.”
Eastern Michigan University offense started as cold as the temperature out side the arena.
The Eagle zone defense continues to help the offense over come the poor execution and force the Ball State University offense to the outside for looks at the basket and then force turnovers to help the Eagles tie the game late in the first half.
Leading the way for the Eagles J.R Sims and Glenn Bryant, Sims a red-shirt junior from Fort Wayne, Indiana. He proved that he can play in front of friends and family.
Sims scored a career high 18 points and Bryant also scored in double figures and lead the Eagles with 20 points.
“I just try to come out with energy,” Bryant said. “We let two slip away, we knew that this was a must win game and we needed this by any means.”
Murphy said after the game that he though his team started the game sleepwalking.
“I thought tonight that we got off to an extremely slow start,” Murphy said. “Started the game sleepwalking. They were able to get a nine point lead on us, I give them a lot of credit finding Bond in the short corner and the things that they did early on against us.”
Murphy said that he thought that Sims kept the Eagles in the game.
“After last game you know Jalen has not been playing well enough and I am looking at the tape and I am saying he is not playing great defense and he turns the ball over,” Murphy said why he wanted to put Sims in the starting line up. “I just go take a chance on J.R. playing the point guard that he does not like to play but I think anything that you ask him to do he does.”
The Eagles came out of the locker room for the important first five minutes of the second half and the defense held the Cardinals offense to just two baskets for 18 minutes.
Murphy said the key to the start of the second is that center Da’Shonte Riley decided to show up and play.
Riley did not score any points for the Eagles and only pulled in three rebounds but his presence in the middle created some confusion for the Cardinal offense.
Ball State University turned the ball over 17 times and had the ball stolen eight times that led to 15 points for the Eagles off of turnovers.
Leading the Cardinals from the floor Jauwan Scaif with 21 points and Majok majok pulled in 16 rebounds.
“Riley picked up his defense and not allow the ball going into the paint,” Murphy said.“Austin came in off the bench especially in the second half in a streach there six or seven minutes and made some really good plays.”
The Eagles will continue the road trip to Athens, Ohio Wednesday night Feb 20, to face Ohio University Bobcats at the Convocation Center for the make up game that was cancelled Jan 30,2013 because of an off-campus police situation.
The game is scheduled to start 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.