Eastern Michigan basketball misses opportunity in loss to Kent State
After beating Akron on the road earlier this week, the Eastern Michigan men’s basketball team had a chance Thursday to win back-to-back games against the best teams in the Mid-American Conference.
Instead, the Eagles lost to surging Kent State, 75-68, at the Convocation Center.
“I wasn’t very happy with our performance,” EMU coach Charles Ramsey said. “Our performance was not that of what it was Monday. It was not the same quality of performance.”
The loss was the third in four games for the Eagles (11-11 overall, 3-6 MAC), who hold fourth place in the conference’s West Division. The win was the sixth straight for Kent State (16-7, 7-2).
The defeat was a missed opportunity for EMU, which had upended Akron by three points on the road.
“It would‘ve been huge to back up Monday‘s win with a win against another quality program,” Ramsey said.
Eastern Michigan cut the deficit to five on two occasions in the final 30 seconds thanks to two plays by Carlos Medlock. He was fouled on a 3-point attempt and converted the ensuing free throws.
Sixteen seconds later, Medlock made a 3-pointer. Each time, however, Kent State made free throws and held the lead.
“We played hard, but we played hard late,” Ramsey said. “We played hard catching up. You have to play hard when the game is in the balance, not when you fall behind.”
Kent State coach Geno Ford said his team played sloppy down the stretch but was pleased with its ability to finish a game.
“We really had to work on concentration (late),” Ford said.
Medlock led all scorers with 22 points, but he and the rest of the Eastern Michigan guards had trouble defending their counterparts.
Kent State’s three starting guards combined for 35 points. Anthony Simpson, a forward, led the team with 19 off the bench. Kent State closed the first half on a 14-2 run and made four 3-pointers in the final six minutes to take a 32-20 lead into halftime.
EMU’s Brandon Bowdry, who Ford said was one of the “premier four men” in the league, had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Bowdry’s teammate, Justin Dobbins, had 11 points and 10 rebounds but was 1-of-7 on free-throw attempts.
Medlock passes Earl Boykins
Medlock made three 3-pointers and moved to fourth place on the program’s list of all-time leaders. He has 183 and passed current Washington Wizard Earl Boykins, who made 181 from 1995 to 1998.
Derrick Dial (1995-1998) holds the record with 201. Medlock is two behind Carl Thomas (1987-91) for third.
Bracket Buster game revealed
Eastern Michigan drew Detroit Mercy on Monday in a ESPN Bracket Buster -- games between mid-major teams to allow them an extra chance to impress the selection committee.
The two are expected to meet at 3:35 p.m. Feb. 20 at Calihan Hall in Detroit. Detroit Mercy, of the Horizon League, has won seven straight against Eastern Michigan, which hasn’t won in the series since Dec. 30, 1999.
- By Justin Souva