Eagles B-Ball wins Second Straight

The Eastern Michigan men's basketball team improves to 3-1 on the season, as they win their second straight contest 60-47 over Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne.

Eastern Michigan men's basketball team started its first winning streak of the season with their third win over Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne's 60-47 in the second game of the EMU "Ice Man" Classic Tournament. The Eagles now move to 3-1 record on the year and have their lockdown defense to thank for the win.

The Green and White were able to dominate in the paint during the game using their front court size to score 30 of their 60 points down low. Despite opening the game to a slow start they ended the first half with a 13 point run going into halftime with a lead of 32-27 and never looked back.

Senior shooting guard Derek Thompson has been the anchor offensively for the team, scoring 17 points on 7-12 shooting and shooting 50 percent from the three point line to lead the game. Thompson's play was also elite on the defensive end with four steals which helped EMU get 15 points off turnovers. Thompson was keyed in on by IPFW generating many double teams and tight defense throughout the game but was able to handle the pressure.

"Yeah, at the end of the day we have a lot of different weapons." Thompson said. "If they want to key in on me and they double team me then that means someone else is going to be open.

Scoring from the rest of the team was spread out with red shirt junior forward Glenn Bryant with 11 points on 4-9 shooting, redshirt junior forward Daylen Harrison eight points and a team leading eight rebounds and freshman point guard Jalen Ross and senior forward Jamell Harris scoring seven each.

Harris has normally been a defensive force with the Eagles getting two blocks on the game and his offensive contribution was big for the team. Offensively the team still only shot 39.6 percent and needs to start improving as the Mid-American Conference schedule heats up.

"We need to stay confident and stay aggressive on the offensive end." Thompson said. "Our confidence needs to grow and we just need to gel, once we are able to gel offensively - which takes time, but I think we will become better."

The Mastodons went on a run late to make the game close but it was clutch defense from Da'Shonte Riley which secured the game. Riley used his seven foot frame to get four blocks in the game, two of which came in the final two minutes to help close the contest. Riley also scored four points, improving his offensive production.

Defense has been the biggest part of the Eagles' play shutting down IPFW and holding them to 30 percent shooting in the game. The final game of the Iceman tournament will be Sunday against Texas-Pan American at 7 p.m.

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