OVERVIEW: The Eagles of coach Rob Murphy enter this contest with a 7-8 overall record after losing their MAC opener at home to Ball State on Wednesday. EMU has lost six in a row since its signature win, a 47-44 victory over Purdue on Dec. 8.
BY THE NUMBERS: EMU ranks 12th (or last) in the MAC in scoring at 58.0 points per game, which is by design as it plays deliberate offense and slower-tempo offense to limit the number of possessions in a game. As result, the Eagles lead the MAC in scoring defense, allowing just 62.9 points per contest. Eastern Michigan has not been a good shooting team, ranking 11th in field-goal percentage (39.6 percent) and last in the MAC in 3-point field-goal shooting (29.2 percent). But the Eagles are second in field-goal defense (40.7 percent) and tops in the league in 3-point defense (33.1 percent). … You might expect playing a lot of zone defense to negatively affect EMU’s rebounding, and you would be right: the Eagles are 11th in rebounding margin at minus-3.0 rebounds per game. … For the style of offense they play, it’s surprising the Eagles turn the ball over 14.5 times per game. But EMU creates 15.4 opponent turnovers per game for a positive turnover margin (plus-0.87).
ALL-TIME SERIES: This is the 85th meeting in the series, and Bowling Green holds a 46-38 advantage. The Eagles have won the last two games between the two clubs and has won two of the last three contests played at BG.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Offensively the Eagles are led by senior Derek Thompson, who ranks 15h in the MAC in scoring at 11.7 points per game. He also leads the league in 3-pointers made per game (2.4). … Junior Glenn Bryant is second on the team in scoring (and stands 25th in the MAC) at 10.1 points per game. Bryant is 20th in rebounding (4.6 rpg) and 10th in blocked shots (1.2 bpg). … Junior Daylen Harrison ranks 27th in the league in scoring at 9.9 points per game. Harrison is 12th in rebounding with 5.6 rpg, is third in free-throw percentage (87.8 percent) and ninth in steals (1.5 spg). ….Junior DaShonte Riley is 10th in the MAC in rebounding with 5.9 rpg. He also produces 3.4 points per game and is third in the league in blocked shots with 2.5 bpg. … Freshman Jalen Ross ranks ninth in the MAC in assists with 3.2 apg. He also averages 4.9 points per game.
BG KEYS TO VICTORY: 1. Make your shots. There will likely be a limited number of possessions in the contest because of EMU's deliberate style, so making the shots BG is able to take will be critical. Also, the Eagles rank among the MAC's best shot-blocking teams, so that bears watching. 2. Pick up the pace. There may not be a lot of opportunities to run against EMU, but it's a good thing to do. It keeps the Eagles from setting up their zone, and it (hopefully) creates better shots. 3. Welcome home. Bowling Green has not played a home game since Dec. 18, so it should help to play in a friendly environment. Having a positive attitude will be essential if BG wants to snap its five-game losing streak.
GAME NOTES: Tipoff from the Stroh Center is at 6 p.m. … The contest will be broadcast on the Falcons’ radio network, including 99.1 FM, 1470 AM and 1280 AM. … This game also will be televised by SportsTime Ohio. … The next game for the Falcons is on the road at Miami on Wednesday, Jan. 16 starting at 7 p.m. … The next home contest for BG comes when the Falcons host Kent State at the Stroh Center on Wednesday, Jan. 23.