March 4, 2009
Final Box Score in PDF Format
YPSILANTI, Mich. - Sophomore guard Darion "Jake" Anderson's game-high 24 points marked his ninth single-game effort with 20 or more tallies this season, but host Eastern Michigan jumped out to a commanding first-half lead, and never looked back in a 75-61 win over the Northern Illinois men's basketball team at the Convocation Center in Ypsilanti, Mich., Wednesday.
The loss snapped NIU's (10-18, 5-10 MAC) previous three-game winning streak, and dropped the Huskies to 0-7 on the road in Mid-American Conference play. Freshman guard Mike DiNunno chipped in 12 points to join Anderson in double figures, while EMU (7-23, 5-10 MAC) recorded a dominant frontcourt performance behind Brandon Bowdry and Justin Dobbins, who combined for 39 points and 17 rebounds.
The Eagles recorded statistical advantages in field goals (26-20), three-point field goals (9-5), rebounds (40-36) and assists (16-8). NIU committed just 11 turnovers, but EMU scored 20 points off those miscues. The Huskies recorded a 72.7 percent (16-of-22) effort from the free throw line, including a 12-for-15 effort by Anderson.
EMU broke a 5-5 tie with a commanding 15-2 run, and never looked back, eventually building its largest first half lead of 15 points (38-23) with four seconds remaining after Bowdry banked in a triple. After NIU had cut the lead down to six points, the Eagles out-scored the Huskies, 13-4, over the final 3:15 of the opening stanza.
EMU finished the first half 75 percent (6-of-8) from three-point distance, and held NIU to just a 30 percent (9-of-30) shooting effort. Four EMU players scored six or more points in the frame, led by Bowdry and Dobbins, who each chipped in eight tallies.
Eastern Michigan extended its lead to 20 points (45-25) just two minutes into the second half, before the Huskies answered with six-straight points to cut the deficit to 45-31 with 16:06 remaining. EMU charged back with a 9-2 spree, claiming a 54-33 lead with 12:53 left.
Bowdry's second and final three-pointer gave the Eagles a game-high 27-point (75-48) lead with 3:14 remaining. NIU finished the game on a 13-3 run, with both teams fielding a reserve unit down the stretch.
The Huskies, now tied for fourth-place in the MAC-West standings with Eastern Michigan, wraps up the regular season on the road Sunday, when they take on host Toledo beginning at 1 p.m. EMU currently holds the tiebreaker over NIU by way of its MAC-East cross-divisional win over Bowling Green, who plays at Miami Thursday.