Despite struggling in the first half, Jamaica Bucknor and the Eastern Michigan Eagles (19-11) held off a scare from 11th-seeded Kent State (5-25) to advance to the MAC Tournament's second round.
EMU only had a 28-27 halftime lead and also trailed for a small amount of time in the second half. After being down 29-28 with 18 to go, the Eagles went on a 15-2 run to take their lead out to 44-32. In the proceeding minutes, KSU was not able to cut the EMU lead to any smaller than three.
Bucknor heated up after the break, having just four points going into halftime. By the time the four minute media timeout came around, both Janay Morton and her had 16 a piece, which with they each finished with as well. Late free throws and a couple triples by Cha Sweeney gave her a game high 21 points.
The Golden Flashes put two players into double figures, CiCi Shannon with 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds and Melanee Stubbs, who added 10. Things also started very well for Kent State, who at one point had a four point first half lead, but were unable to keep the momentum into the heat of the second half.
The Eagles are headed to Cleveland for the first time since 2012. They'll play their second round game versus the winner of Miami and Toledo, who play tonight at 8 ET.
|Player||Eastern Michigan||Kent State|
|Points||C. Sweeney (21)||C. Shannon (12)|
|Rebounds||J. Morton (9)||C.Shannon (10)|
|Assists||J. Morton (7)||M. Chinn (7)|
|Blocks||B. Puni (2)||C. Shannon (2)|
|Steals||J. Bucknor (3)||Three Players (1)|