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Posted on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 10:07 p.m.

Eastern Michigan basketball clinches MAC West title on Darrell Lampley's last-second basket at WMU

By Staff

The smallest man on the court made the biggest play of the day as the Eastern Michigan basketball team wrapped up a Mid-American Conference West Division title with a 54-53 win at Western Michigan on Wednesday night.

Senior point guard Darrel Lampley hit a floater in the lane over the Broncos' 6-foot-11 Shayne Whittington with less than one second remaining as the Eagles silenced a senior day crowd of 2,969 at University Arena in Kalamazoo.

The four-foot jumper bounced on the rim three times before finding net, according to

Lampley, liberally listed as 5-foot-10 on the EMU roster, finished with 15 points and four rebounds as the Eagles (14-16, 9-6) won their first outright MAC West title since the league split into its current format in 1999.

First-year Eagles coach Rob Murphy told the Kalamazoo Gazette that he designed a play for Derek Thompson coming out of a timeout, but WMU took away that option.

The ball ended up in the hands of Lampley, who was recently honored as the MAC West's Co-Player of the Week.

“Lampley's a senior, he's our emotional leader -- heart and soul of the team,” Murphy said. “We ask him to do a lot. He's a really good player, and he has extreme confidence.”

Western Michigan’s Flenard Whitfield had given the Broncos (12-18, 6-9) a 53-52 lead with a three-point play with 17.2 seconds remaining.

Antonio Green added 12 points while Jamell Harris finished with 8 points and 8 rebounds for the Eagles.


Western Michigan's Demetrius Ward is fouled by Eastern Michigan's Jamel Harris on a drive to the basket Wednesday night at University Arena in Kalamazoo. EMU won the game, 54-53, to clinch an outright MAC West title.

Kalamazoo Gazette

Lampley’s game-winning shot wasn’t the Eagles’ only buzzer-beater.

J.R. Sims hit a 3-point basket as the clock expired on the first half, giving EMU a 26-25 halftime lead. The Eagles would extend the advantage to as many as eight points in the second half.

Whitfield split a pair of free throws to tie the game at 50-50 with 1:03 remaining.

Thompson was fouled and made a layup with 38 seconds left, but missed the free throw that would have put the Eagles up by three points.

Whitfield answered with his late three-point play 22 seconds later, setting up Lampley’s heroics.

Mike Douglas scored 15 points and Whitfield 14 points for the Broncos. The Eagles wrap up their regular season with a trip to Toledo on Saturday.



Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

The MAC is wide open this year and EMU has beaten all the teams with better records in the East - going into the tournament with (hopefully a bye) EMU has a real chance to win the conference tournament ... a real chance! When is the last time you read that? Was Clinton in office or George Bush; the first Bush GO EMU


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 10:28 a.m.

Eastern, Eastern, hats off to you!!! Coach Murphy you rock!


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:17 a.m.

Nice, like to see them get in to the tourney and go have a gator/crawdad brat on Cross street and watch the game.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 10:43 a.m.

Those brats are something, huh?? I just had the rabbit brat this week and tried the turducken as well. Outstanding stuff. The Wurst Bar (the old Theo's)


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:17 a.m.

Huron Pride. With both the football and basketball teams climbing out of the basement of the MAC, it would be great to see both head coaches stick around.