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Eastern Michigan Eagles vs. Dayton Flyers Basketball Final: Officiating was a problem as EMU loses their first game 74-63

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Head coach Rob Murphy upset with the officiating in Dayton.
Head coach Rob Murphy upset with the officiating in Dayton.
Andrew Mascharka

Fouls

I don't like complaining about too many or not enough fouls or penalties or whatever in sports, but it was pretty bad in Dayton. Eagle Totem knows how to sum things up.

EMU was down 55-56 at the time of this tweet.

Through the first seven games, EMU averaged committing 15.4 personal fouls per game. There were twenty-nine called against the Eagles against Dayton with both Anali Okoloji and Brandon Nazione fouling out while Jerome Hunter, Mike Samuels and Raven Lee all reached four.

Lotsa fouls = lotsa free throws

Dayton shot 44 free throws. Eastern Michigan only shot 17. Look, this wasn't a game where EMU played totally out of character and being more aggressive than normal, this one was just full of weak calls. Maybe the refs have never seen defense before, and while that's still an extraordinarily stupid alibi for calling so many fouls, it's probably their best reasoning for today's outcome.

Three-point shooting

On the flip side, it wasn't like EMU was making a ton of shots, either. It wasn't until their tenth attempt from behind the arc when the Eagles finally made a 3-pointer. Thanks, Karrington Ward. The team ended the game shooting 27 percent from 3. That's not a good percentage to have. Jodan Price made the most of these shots with three while Lee and Ward both made two.

If this offense is going to be taken seriously, then they need to sharpen up here. Shooting 30 percent isn't going to fare well if this carries over to MAC play.

Raven Lee

The team's leading scorer keeps doing what he does best: score. Shooting 9-for-20 from the floor, but drawing a few fouls to get to the line helped Lee reach 26 points on the game. The chemistry with

More on Price and Nazione's bench play

Price hasn't been very impressive. He had a couple of key three-pointers made late in the second half, but he had to get to a 1-for-5 start before those happened. It's something that EMU fans should be anxious about, because he can be a really good 3-point threat like Derek Thompson used to be for this program, but he's just not doing it. Well, he's at least not doing it yet*.

Brandon Nazione is exciting to watch. To put it shortly, he's an exciting piece for this team for the same reasons that Glenn Bryant was, just without all of the dunks. Don't worry about his unimpressive numbers in the box score, because it doesn't show how he always found himself in the way of Dayton trying to to generate an offense. That is, of course, assuming Dayton's offense isn't centered around the refs calling weak personal fouls all the time.

Looking ahead

Again, this was the first road game for EMU this season. They're next three games are against Michigan, Michigan State and Missouri State all on the road. Rumor has it that Michigan lost today. After a little bit of fact-checking (for measure: about four minutes more than what Fox News would normally do), I can say that this is not a hoax and the Wolverines lost their home game against NJIT.

The Eagles will meet up with Michigan on Tuesday night.