In this MAC opener for both teams, three different Eagles had 19 points each, Raven Lee had 32, and Eastern Michigan (9-5, 1-0 MAC) had a rather easy win against the defending regular season champion Central Michigan Chippewas (7-7, 0-1 MAC), 99-80.
Central Michigan had won 10 straight home games coming into tonight, and only lost one game all of last year in McGuirk Arena. The Chippewas were outplayed be Eastern Michigan in every facet of the game. Eastern Michigan seemed to want it more then the Chippewas tonight, leading to a great road win for the Eagles.
As highlighted above, Lee started his first game of the season, and he didn't disappoint. He lead all scorers with 32 points, adding three rebounds and an assist. It seemed that every shot that Lee took was going in. It was one of those nights where if he shot it, it was in.
James Thompson IV continued to show his dominance in the paint, as he scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, adding another double double to his already impressive freshmen season. Jodan Price and Willie Magnum IV also added 19 points a piece to help Lee and Thompson to this strong road victory.
Altogether, the Eagles shot a strong 66% from the field, making 33 out of 50 attempted shots. The Eagles were also able to knock down the three ball, as they made 13 of 20 from beyond the arc, for a 65% mark. Central Michigan struggled the entire second half to make a shot, as they had too many long droughts without a made basket, leading to the margin of victory.
Josh Kozinski lead the Chippewas in scoring with 18 points, adding a rebound and an assist. Kozinski continues to shine from behind the three point line, as all of his points came on three pointers. Braylon Rayson tried to help out, as he scored 17 points, adding two rebounds and two assists. Chris Fowler and Rayshawn Simmons added 13 points a piece to give the Chippewas a chance, but this game belonged to the Eagles.
Another quiet night for John Simons, as one of the MAC leaders in three pointers made, he was only able to manage 5 points on one three pointer. If the Chippewas want to compete for the MAC title this year, Simons is going to be needed in he mix.
Eastern lead by four at half, and after halftime, it was all Eastern Michigan. They made basket after basket, and Central Michigan had droughts that gave Eastern the lead the had to earn this victory. The Eagles lead by as much as 18, as every time Central would draw a little closer, the Eagles would answer back with another basket.
Eastern Michigan looks to ride this wave of momentum and carry it to their next game in DeKalb, Illinois to face the Huskies of Northern Illinois. Tip is set for 8:30.
Central Michigan will look to shake off this loss, as they head to the Stroh Center in Bowling Green to face the Falcons Bowling Green on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.