The Eastern Michigan Eagles (11-3, 0-1 MAC) had a chance on Wednesday to extend their home winning streak 18 in a row (dating back to January 25 of last year when they lost 58-56 to Ohio). Albiet, a one-point, overtime loss to Ball State would prevent that from happening, and now giving Eagle fans the heebie-geebies in the first week of in-conference play.
While said chaos was happening in Ypsilanti, the Miami RedHawks (5-9, 0-1 MAC) were within striking distance of taking down the Buffalo Bulls, who was led by Justin Moss and his double-double performance (23 points, 12 rebounds). But when you shoot only 42 percent from the free throw line, you're practically begging to be on the losing end of close games like those.
EMU is currently leads the MAC (seventh in the nation) with 41.5 rebounds per game, which is kind of funny when you consider the fact that the only player in the MAC that is top-10 in RPG is Karrington Ward at 7.1, which is only ninth. The next best rebounder is center Mike Samuels with 5.1 RPG, 19th in the MAC. Samuels does lead the MAC in rebounds per 40 minutes with 14.8. Miami (29.4 RPG, last in MAC) doesn't have any noteworthy rebounders on that list until we reach Chris Bryant, 6-foot-7 transfer forward from Florida Atlantic, averaging 3.9 RPG.
The RedHawks are also the bottom feeders of the MAC when it comes to scoring. Averaging only 64.1 points per game while EMU is fifth in the conference with 71.6 PPG, even though the Eagles have the lowest shooting percentage in the MAC (40.5 percent) and Miami is fifth in that category (43.8 percent).
The key for Eastern Michigan is to stop Eric Washington, Miami's leading scorer with 13.0 PPG, responsible for 20.31 percent of Miami's points. Same could be said for the RedHawks needing to keep the ball out of Raven Lee's hands as much as possible, with the highest team usage percentage in the MAC (30.03 percent) as well as points per 40 minutes (23.57).
If you've got an account through MURedHawks.com, then you're lucky enough to catch the game from the comfort of your own home and not have to deal with the snow. Otherwise, you'll just have to go to MIllett Hall to watch and see how this game unfolds. These two will meet up again on Feb. 10 in Ypsilanti.
*All stats courtesy of ESPN and BBState.com.