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MAC Men’s Basketball Recap: Western Michigan Broncos at Eastern Michigan Eagles

The Eagles pull out a close game late

NCAA Basketball: Eastern Michigan at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Western Michigan Broncos started off hot, hitting 3 out of their first 4 threes. Nothing puts a zone defense on their heels like outside shooting.

The Eagles had an answer, with James Thompson IV hitting hook shots which no defense can stop.

Both teams played with high energy, and it was a competitive game throughout. Exactly what you are looking for as a fan.

Tim Bond, the Eagle’s 6’7 do everything guard got in foul trouble late in the first half, and the Broncos capitalized, eventually taking a 33-28 lead into the locker room.

EMU came out of the locker room even more fired up, eventually tying the game at 42-42 with 15 to go. At times, the game got chippy, but both teams maintained their composure. I am not going to lie, I thought, for sure, we would see some technicals, or maybe a fight or two. I was even hoping for some jerk your jersey off and jump into the stands fighting, but alas, the kids today are better behaved than the ones of my youth.

The Eagles led the rest of the way, but the game was always in doubt. In the end, the Eagles pulled out the win 86-80.

Statistically, the game was pretty much a wash. The only place the Eagles really held the edge was at the charity stripe. It wasn’t because the Broncos were called for that many more fouls(only 2 more), it’s just how the cookie crumbled. Don’t tell the Eagles the Broncos were called for more fouls. They would never believe it.

Thomas Wilder had 26 points and 6 assists for the Broncos. Reggie Jones added 17, and Tucker Haymond added 11 and 7 rebounds.

James Thompson IV scored 26 on 10-12 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds. I can’t really point to anything the Broncos did wrong, other than letting JT4 shoot 10 foot hooks shots. You don’t really expect them to drop like they did tonight. Kudos to Thompson, he played a heck of game, including dishing a couple nicely timed dimes. I was about to scratch him off my MAC player of the year list, and then he had this performance.

Tim Bond added 9 points and 8 assists for the Eagles.

The Eagles move to 12-6 and 4-1 in the MAC. On Saturday they head to Akron in a game the winner will surely be number 1 in our power rankings.

The Broncos drop to 6-11 and head to Buffalo.