YPSILANTI, Mich. ó The Eastern Michigan University menís basketball team could not withstand hot second half shooting by in-state rival Western Michigan, as the Broncos rallied for a 80-61 victory here Thursday night at the Convocation Center.
Western Michigan (13-14, 7-6 MAC) opened up the second half on a 29-9 run, shooting a blistering 16-of-23 from the field (70 percent) while hitting 6-of-7 (86 percent) from three point range. Conversely, EMU (10-17, 4-9 MAC) hit a dismal 10-of-32 (31 percent), while only connecting on 2-of-15 (13 percent) from beyond the arc in the second half.
The Eagles were led by Travis Lewis (Kalamazoo, Mich.-Loy Norrix) who notched his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. The Eagles also had three other players in double figures with juniors Jarred Axon (Jackson, Mich.-Jackson-Schoolcraft C.C) and James Matthews (Detroit, Mich.-Denby-(Marquette) each chipping in with 10 points and junior Jesse Bunkley (Detroit, Mich.-CMA-Mott C.C.) with 11 points.
WMU had five players in double figures for the game led by Shawntes Gary with a game-high 16 points hitting 8-of-10 from the charity stripe. Junior guard Derek Drews added 15 points hitting a blistering 5-of-6 from three-point land while sophomore guard Michael Redell chipped in 12 points. Sophomore Andre Ricks and junior Joe Reitz notched 11 and 10 points, respectively. Western opened the second half much like the first, outscoring EMU 14-2 over the first six minutes of the half to go up 40-36. Kool continued Westernís momentum, hitting a jumper coupled with two Ricks free throws, and extended the Broncoís lead to eight, 44-36, with 12 minutes left in regulation. A Lewis three pointer stopped the 21-4 Bronco run, 47-39, at the 11:19 mark. Western kept applying pressure, outscoring EMU 10-7, to take a 57-45 lead, with eight minutes left in the game. WMU went on to cruise to an 80-61 victory.
The game started on an 11-2 Bronco run capped by three straight three-pointers. The Eagles answered by hitting two of their own bringing the score to, 11-8, four and half minutes into the opening stanza. A Justin Dobbins (Cleveland, Ohio-Glenville) layup then brought the Eagles within one, 11-10, at the 13:20 mark. However, WMU answered hitting its fourth three-point hoop before the second media timeout. The next time down the court, Bunkley connected on another three to only to have a Reitz jumper put Western ahead by three, 16-13. A Matthews layup, followed by two free throws brought the Eagles within one once again, 18-17.
Lewis then tipped in a missed three giving EMU its second lead of the night at 19-18. Bunkley hit another three to increase EMUís lead to 22-18 with seven minutes left in the first half. Another Lewis tip-in extended the Eagles lead to six, 26-20, with 4:30 left in the half. After a Bunkely jumper brought the score to 28-22, a Reitz layup again brought the Broncos within four, 28-24. A Lewis steal led to a dunk which put the Eagles ahead by seven, 31-24, with 2:10 left in the half. The half ended on a high note with a blocked shot by Bunkley on a Redell layup giving the Eagles a 32-26 lead heading into the locker room.
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