MAC Tournament Central
Eastern Michigan 58, Miami 47
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Eastern Michigan's zone defense made life difficult for No. 11 Miami University as the Eagles advanced to the third round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament with a 58-47 win over the RedHawks on Wednesday night at Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena.
The seventh-seeded Eagles advance to face No. 3 Western Michigan at 9 p.m. on Thursday.
After taking a slim 28-25 lead into halftime thanks to a three by Derek Thomas just four seconds before the buzzer, the Eagles used their 2-3 zone to hold Miami to just four points and 18-percent shooting (2-for-11) in the opening 10 minutes of the second half. Miami also turned the ball over eight times during that stretch as Eastern Michigan opened up a double-digit lead.
Dunks by Da'Shonte Riley and Glenn Bryant against Miami University's full court pressure in the closing minutes helped Eastern Michigan close out the win.
Derek Thomas scored 14 points to lead the Eagles, who improved their record to 16-17. Daylen Harrison added 11 points while Riley and Bryant scored 10 points each. Riley also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
Will Felder and Jon Harris led Miami with 14 points each. Late first-half threes by Harris and Felder allowed the RedHawks to keep the game close despite 11 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes. Miami converted 5-of-9 threes before halftime, then made just 2-of-11 (18.2 percent) after the break on its way to a 9-22 finish to the season.
Eastern Michigan out-scored Miami 24-10 in the paint and 19-7 off of the 20 turnovers committed by the RedHawks.
Thursday's third-round matchup between Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan features two teams who split their meetings during the regular season. The Eagles avenged a 63-59 road loss on Jan. 23 by upsetting the MAC West Division champions 50-49 in Ypsilanti on March 2.