Oakland (4-8) at Eastern Michigan (6-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 22, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (8,800) -- Ypsilanti, Michigan. Television: None. Home Record: Oakland 3-0, EMU 6-0. Away Record: Oakland 1-8, EMU 0-4. Neutral Record: Oakland 0-0, EMU 0-0. Conference Record: Oakland 0-0, EMU 0-0. Series Record: Eastern Michigan leads, 8-4.
GAME NOTES: The Eastern Michigan Eagles return home to the Convocation Center to host the Oakland Golden Grizzlies for non-conference action.
Although Oakland is off to a mere 4-8 start, it has much to build upon after defeating Valparaiso by two points and coming up just short on the road in a 76-71 setback to West Virginia. Coach Greg Kampe has not found much success in away games this season. The Golden Grizzlies are just 1-8 on the road this season although they have had a difficult slate that included Pittsburgh, Michigan State, Tennessee, and Ohio. Oakland has shown the ability to put up points and owns a scoring offense average of 71 ppg, but it is allowing 75.2 ppg to its opposition.
The Eagles upset Purdue in a narrow 47-44 bout the last time they were home, but they then suffered lopsided losses to Illinois-Chicago (74-48) and Michigan (93-54) to fall to a 6-4 record. EMU is perfect at the Convocation Center with a 6-0 mark on its own floor. Coach Rob Murphy's team can stifle opponents as it has allowed just 49.8 ppg in its victories, but it gave up 78 ppg in its losses. The Eagles are netting only 56.9 ppg on the offensive end of the court.
These rivals have played 12 times before, with EMU holding an 8-4 all-time series lead. This is the first meeting since the 2009-10 campaign.
Junior guard Travis Bader led the Grizzlies with 25 points in a contest where they had the Mountaineers down by seven points in the second half. Oakland went cold after halftime and converted just 11-of-30 attempts from the floor while its bench was outscored 21-0 by WVU's reserves in the final 20 minutes. Bader is having a great season among the mediocrity with 20.1 points and four makes from beyond the arc per contest. Corey Petros is adding 14.3 points and a team-best 7.0 rebounds per outing and Duke Mondy is also a double-figure scorer with 12.8 ppg.
The Eagles were not equipped to keep up with Michigan in their 39-point loss to the Wolverines. Daylen Harrison scored a team-high 13 points and Glenn Bryant chipped in 10, but they combined to go 9-of-26 from the field. Derek Thompson also had a poor showing with a 3-of-13 shooting performance to contribute to the team's .355 field goal percentage. EMU also turned the ball over 18 times and lost the rebounding battle, 44-30. Thompson is the squad's leading scorer with 11.9 ppg while Bryant and Harrison are tied for second with 10.4 ppg each.
Oakland's tough schedule has left it with an unattractive record to this point, but it can do some catching up against the struggling Eagles. EMU lacks the offensive firepower to keep pace with Oakland if Bader continues to torch defenders from long distance.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oakland 67, Eastern Michigan 60
12/22 10:31:02 ET