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MAC Men’s Basketball Recap: Eastern Michigan Eagles vs. Central Michigan Chippewas

James Thompson IV led all scorers with 22 points, as Eastern Michigan rallied to defeat Central Michigan, 72-67 in Mount Pleasant.

NCAA Basketball: Eastern Michigan at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

James Thompson IV led all scorers with his 22 points, also grabbed 14 rebounds on the night, as Eastern Michigan rallied back to defeat Central Michigan, 72-67 in Mount Pleasant on Saturday afternoon. This is Thompson’s 19th double double on the season. Eastern Michigan moves to 16-11 (7-7 MAC) with the win, and Central Michigan falls to 16-11 (5-9 MAC) after the loss.

Paul Jackson scored 15 points to go along with Thompson’s big afternoon. Jackson also grabbed three rebounds and dished out four assists. Elijah Minnie added 13 points of his own, and also grabbed 10 rebounds for the Eagles. Tim Bond did a little of everything for EMU, as he scored seven points, snagged six rebounds and dished out five assists.

The Eagles were able to make 29 of their 61 (48%) of their shot attempts on the afternoon. Eastern struggled from beyond the arc, as they only made three of their 20 (15%) shots from long range. They were able to knock down their free throws late in the game, and finish 11 of 15 (73%) from the charity stripe. The Eagles owned the glass, as they out rebounded the Chippewas, 43 to 30.

Kevin McKay led the way for Central Michigan, as he scored 14 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, and dished out seven assists. Luke Meyer added 13 points, and grabbed five rebounds for the Chips. Cecil Williams fouled out late in the second half, and finished with 12 points.

Central Michigan was able to make 22 of their 59 (37%) shot attempts in the game. The Chips shot the three well in this game, making 11 of their 26 (42%) shots from beyond the arc. The Chips were also able to make their free throws, as they finished 12 of 13 (92%) from the free throw line.

Central Michigan led at halftime, 34-28 after a Minnie dunk shrunk the lead right before. After a Meyer three pointer, the Chips led by 10 at 40-30. The Eagles would go on a 7-0 run to close the gap quickly. The two teams would go back and forth, but a Kevin Mcadoo three would tie the game up at 52 with 7:50 remaining in regulation.

Both teams then traded 4-0 runs, and tied the score again at 56 with 4:29 remaining in the game. The two teams would go back and forth again, but the Eagles would take the lead after a layup from Minnie, to make the score 62-61 with 2:06 left and would hold onto the lead for the remainder of the game.

Eastern Michigan looks to build off this win, as they return home to host the Toledo Rockets on Tuesday, February 20th. Tip is set for 7 p.m. and will be aired on ESPN3.

Central Michigan will look to try and regroup, as they travel to Kalamazoo to take on the Western Michigan Broncos on Tuesday, February 20th. Tip is set for 7 p.m. and will be aired on ESPN3.