Eastern Michigan basketball team unimpressive in home opener, beats Madonna, 79-70
The Eastern Michigan basketball team earned its first win of the season and trailed just once Wednesday in a 79-70 victory against visiting Madonna.
Not good enough, Eastern coach Charles Ramsey said.
“I don’t think the effort was what it should have been, I don’t think the attitude was what it should have been,” Ramsey said. “The respect of not only the opponent, but of playing the game the right way, was not what it should have been.
“We’re not good enough to play that way, trust me.”
Eastern Michigan, 1-1, took a 44-27 first-half lead against Madonna, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics team.
Madonna, however, made a quick comeback in the second half. The Crusaders (1-3) sank their first three shots of the half—all 3-pointers—and added four free throws, to cut the Eagles lead to eight points with 15 minutes remaining.
Eastern Michigan struggled defensively, especially on the perimeter. Madonna shot 12-of-25 from the 3-point line, and shot 58 percent from behind the arc in the second half.
Eastern Michigan played 10 players in each half, and for the most part, the second unit outplayed the starters.
Brandon Bowdry had seven points in 24 minutes for the Eagles, after setting career highs of 32 points and 15 rebounds in Eastern Michigan’s season-opening loss at Michigan State.
The Eagles starting point guard, junior college transfer Darrell Lampley had 11 points and five assists with no turnovers, but often looked lost defensively.
“It’s not that he can’t defend,” Ramsey said of Lampley’s defense. “He just has to put his head into it. That’s what has given him the most problems to date.”
The biggest bright spot for the Eagles came from Jamell Harris. The 6-9 sophomore forward came off the bench to score 15 points, grab 13 rebounds and block seven shots.
With just over a minute left in the game, Harris swatted away a Madonna shot that would have cut the lead to four points. On the Eagles’ ensuing possession, after Lampley dribbled out the shot and then missed a lay up, Harris found his way to the rim for the tip in.
“He’s one we’ve been waiting on,” Ramsey said of Harris. “He’s extremely young, but with an effort like this, hopefully he will continue to get better.”
Eastern Michigan plays its next five games away from the Convocation Center, beginning Saturday at Canisius.
The Eagles will likely have junior guard Quintin Dailey back for that game. Dailey has yet to play for the Eagles this season after his father, former NBA player Quintin Dailey Sr., passed away on November 8. Dailey Jr. watched Wednesday’s game from the Eagles’ bench.