Buffalo opened up strong in the second half
After the first two and a half minutes passed in the second half, the Buffalo Bulls (16-9, 7-6 MAC) went on a 15-4 run, led by both Shannon Evans scoring a couple of times in the paint and Jarryn Skeete with a pair of back-to-back 3-pointers.
And it's not like they were playing bad in the first half either. The bulls were shooting 44.7 percent from the floor in the first half (17-for-38), and close to 60 percent from 3-point range. That first half was led by both Xavier Ford and Shannon Evans, who both had eight points in the half, finishing with 12 and 14, respectively.
More on Shannon Evans
Not only is Evans one of the best players for Buffalo, but he's one of the MAC's finest. Averaging 15.1 points per game, shooting close to 40 percent from the floor for the season, Evans' 14 points were the second-highest by his team tonight with six rebounds, three assists and four steals in 34 minutes on the floor.
"It was more Shannon Evans that continued his penetration throughout the game which broke our zone down and it was hard to make plays on defense." EMU head coach Rob Murphy said after the game.
For EMU, it was Karrington Ward and then everybody else
For starters, the Eagles had a dreadful second half. While the Bulls were going on long runs, EMU missed way too many shots, too. That's not saying Buffalo left EMU uncontested, but taking advantage of the open looks would've led to a closer game, rather than losing by 15.
The first half wasn't much better, shooting 35.7 percent from the floor and 25 percent from long distance. "We just didn't play well from start to finish" EMU head coach Rob Murphy said after the game. "We had our chances early... but we didn't get some shots to go down and when Buffalo missed, they got some offensive rebounds and put-backs."
Karrington Ward picked up his seventh double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out with two minutes to go. Actually, this is his third double-double performance in a row going 22 and 10 against Miami then 15 and 10 against Akron.
"The only time he hasn't played well is when he's been hurt."
Murphy also noted that Raven Lee never got himself into a good rhythm (nine points, fouled out midway through the second half) and Mike Talley "dribbled the ball too much", rather than finding the right outlets to pass to in certain situations.
Buffalo will have another road contest on Saturday at Bowling Green before they have to face Akron at home on Tuesday February 24. Eastern Michigan will be at Northern Illinois on Saturday night before returning home on Tuesday to face Central Michigan.
|Points||Karrington Ward (21)||Justin Moss (15)|
|Rebounds||Karrington Ward (11)||Justin Moss (9)|
|Assists||Mike Talley (4)||Shannon Evans (3)|
|Blocks||Karrington Ward (5)||3 tied with 1|
|Steals||Two tied with 2||Shannon Evans (4)|