Eastern Michigan men's basketball loses to Detroit, 68-65, in overtime
Brandon Bowdry can’t to do it by himself. Especially not when Ray McCallum Jr. is matching him point-for-point on the other side.
Bowdry had 31 points and 19 rebounds for the Eastern Michigan basketball team, but Detroit’s McCallum also scored a career-high 31 as the Eagles lost, 68-65, in overtime at the Convocation Center.
It was the sixth time Bowdry has scored 20 points or more this season, but the Eagles are 1-8.
“The rest of the guys have to catch up to his level of play,” said Eastern Michigan coach Charles Ramsey. “Not necessarily his numbers, but his level of play, because one thing he does is battle and play hard.”
Eastern Michigan sophomore Derek Thompson hit an off-balance, leaning 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation to tie the game, but McCallum scored nine points in overtime - including a spectacular three-point play on a tip-in -to lead the Titans (6-5).
Detroit could do little to stop Bowdry - and likewise for the Eagles against McCallum - but the rest of the Eastern Michigan team struggled to score.
Thompson was the only other Eagle in double-figures, with 12 points, as Eastern Michigan shot 31 percent (23-of-75) from the field and 18 percent (4-of-22) from the 3-point line.
“I have kids that can shoot the ball, but they’re throwing up air balls,” Ramsey said. “We’re getting the ball where we need to get it and we aren’t finishing the play, so it all boils down to confidence.”
Eastern Michigan has lost seven straight games, but five of the last six losses have been by six points or fewer.
“We’re young, and trying to figure out how to win close ones,” Ramsey said. “Kids did a good job of battling and putting themselves in position, we just have to figure out a way now to get across that threshold.
“You can see the effort is there, they’re playing hard, but it all comes down to confidence. But the only way to get confidence is to do something positive.”
It’s a catch-22 for then for the Eagles—they lack the confidence to close out games, but they can’t find that confidence when they’re losing. The dilemma is one Ramsey said he and his players need to solve together.
“I have to figure out a way to put them in a position where they can get some confidence, and they have to figure out a way to complete things to get some confidence.”
With just one win in nine games, Ramsey said he is disappointed his team’s record, but he is more concerned about building towards success in Mid-American Conference play
"We haven’t lost anything that we’re playing for yet,” Ramsey said. “We are 0-0 (in the MAC). We have a chance to get better and improve and correct some things. We aren’t that far off, it just has to do with confidence.”
Bison Messink covers sports for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org