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Men's basketball blows late lead

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Posted: Sunday, March 2, 2014 6:57 pm

Men’s basketball saw a huge game slip through its fingers Saturday, as Eastern Michigan overcame a 13-point second-half deficit to earn a 56-52 victory in Ypsilanti, Mich.

With the Huskies leading 32-30 with 15:07 remaining in the game, they went on an 11-0 run, pushing their lead to 43-30. Guard Daveon Balls scored six points and wing Darrell Bowie scored five points during the run.

Trailing by 13 with 12:37 remaining in the game, the Eagles stormed right back with a 12-0 run of their own. The Huskies became stagnant during that stretch while the Eagles were the aggressor, scoring on six straight possessions.

“We came out pretty aggressive in the second half,” said head coach Mark Montgomery. “We were getting the ball inside and we were scoring some in transition, our guys were playing very aggressive, and then the tide just kind of turned  — I don’t think their full court pressure bothered us. We didn’t finish some shots, but they did force some turnovers, and those turnovers got them going.”

From there the score went back and forth until center Jordan Threloff scored four straight points, converting on a tip-in while knocking down two free throws to put the Huskies up six with 5:42 to play in the game.

EMU forward Glenn Bryant answered with a jumper, but guard Travon Baker put the Huskies back up six with 3:17 remaining after hitting two free throws. The Huskies did not score another point.

Down six, the Eagles responded with a 10-0 run over the next three minutes. With the score tied at 52-52, guard Mike Talley came up with the game-winning 3-pointer on an inbounds play with 23 seconds left in the game and two seconds left on the shot clock.

“The play was designed for Glenn [Bryant],” Talley said. “Everybody knows Glenn is a high-flier; that’s what they were anticipating. I just ran to the open spot and knocked it down. …I just seized the moment.”

Talley was the catalyst for the Eagles all game long. He scored a career-high 21 points, and whenever the Eagles needed a basket he seemed to step up and deliver. He was in attack mode from the get-go, getting to the foul line often, shooting 7-7 from the free-throw line.

Aaric Armstead was the leader offensively for the Huskies, scoring 11 points. Forward Aksel Bolin and Bowie each added nine points. Threloff was held in check with eight points and nine rebounds, as the Huskies were not able to get him the ball as often as they would have liked to.

“Our focus was to get him the ball. You have to credit Eastern Michigan for having high hands, clogging that thing up, battling, pushing Threloff off his spots,” Montgomery said. “We already knew they were going to do that. When a guy comes off 27 [points] and 18 [rebounds] he’s going to be a key factor in the game, so credit Eastern.”

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