College Basketball: EMU Wins over Niagara in the CIT Tourney

YPSILANTI —The Eastern Michigan University Men’s basketball team took a giant step to salvage the 2017-18 season by posting a resounding 85-63 victory over Niagara in the  postseason tourney. 

It is a nice consolation prize after the tough 64-63 last second loss to Toledo in the semi-final at the Mid-American Conference Championship in Cleveland.  It is not the NCAA Tournament or even the NIT but EMU could go far in the CIT.

Before a sparse crowd, redshirt junior Elijah Minnie had a career-high 29 points.  Junior James Thompson IV tallied 20 points and pulled down a team-high 16 rebounds.  Senior Tim Bond had a banner night with 11 points, 12 boards, and eight assists, while also adding two steals.

The Eagles are strong at the Convocation Center as they improved to 14-3 at home and 22-12 overall on the season.  With the win the Eagles will play again on March 22-25, at a yet to-be-determined site.   In the waning minutes EMU coach Rob Murphy substituted liberally with 11 player getting time on the court.

Niagara (19-14) boasted the MAAC co-player of the year in Kahlil Dukes (16 points) but couldn’t solve EMU’s zone defense.

Niagara had two local connections, junior Chris Barton (Avondale High School) and sophomore James Towns (Henry Ford High School).

In other CIT action UIC dominated Saint Francis 84-61 and UTSA got by Lamar 76-69.


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