Friday's basketball roundup: EMU, CMU win openers

David Goricki
The Detroit News

Ypsilanti — It would be tough to wipe the smile off of Eastern Michigan coach Rob Murphy's face following the Eagles' 70-50 win over Vermont Friday afternoon in the season opener at the Convocation Center.

After all, Murphy didn't know what to expect, putting five new starters on the floor just hours after suspending star guard Raven Lee indefinitely for breaking team rules.

"We started five new starters and that's been the first time I've been a part of something like that," said Murphy, who is beginning his fifth year with the Eagles, guiding them to 20-plus win seasons the last two years. "It's a really good win against a Vermont team that has seven consecutive postseason appearances with four starters back.

"I'm truly excited for these guys. The first 12 minutes we played extremely well at both ends of the floor. Our goal is to get 30 or more deflections (out of 2-3 zone) and we had 34 deflections, some leading to steals and we contested every shot."

Lee, a 6-foot-3 redshirt junior shooting guard was told of his suspension Thursday night. He was the second leading scorer in the Mid-American Conference last season at 16.7 points.

Willie Mangum, who averaged 20.6 points at San Jacinto Junior College last season, got the start at shooting guard and made the most of his Division 1 debut.

Mangum scored 18, 13 coming in the second half to rally the Eagles from a 30-27 halftime deficit.

And, Mangum was never better than a 4½ minute stretch, scoring nine points during an 11-0 run to open up a 56-42 lead with five minutes left.

Mangum started the run with a three-point play (basket and free throw) in transition. He also made two mid-range jumpers during the spurt. It was also during this stretch when the Eagles were disruptive in the zone, getting deflections and steals.

"I was having fun," said Mangum. "We were dialed in together and once we got stops we were able to get out on the break and score."

The Eagles shot 52 percent from the floor in the second half and out scored Vermont 14-0 in fast break points.

When asked if Mangum was handed Lee's spot, Murphy said, "No, Willie earned it. Willie is known as a scorer and that's what he brings to the table, that's why we brought him in, It's important he didn't lose his confidence (after 2-of-8 first-half shooting). He makes plays off the bounce and that (4½ minute stretch) was huge. It gave us some separation.

"Willie would have started even if Ray (Lee) did play. We would have started four guards."

And, of Lee 's suspension?

"We missed Ray," said Murphy of Lee. "He 's a great player and he'll be back soon. Ray's one of our leaders. He was coaching on the bench. It's all about growing."

Murphy did not elaborate on what Lee did to break team rules or how soon he would return to the lineup. The Eagles play at Oakland Wednesday.

Tim Bond, a 6-foot-7 sophomore guard, scored 15, 6-8, 225-pound senior Brandon Nazione from Howell, 10 points and 10 rebounds and 6-10 freshman center James Thompson, nine points. 11 rebounds and three blocks, seven points and nine rebounds coming in the second half after playing just six first-half minutes due to foul problems.

(At) Central Michigan 89, Jacksonville State 83: Rayshawn Simmons scored a career-high 30 points and Braylon Rayson added 28, and Central Michigan opened the season with an 89-83 win over Jacksonville State on Friday.

The Chippewas shot 52 percent from the field, made 31 of 41 free throws and knocked down eight 3-pointers.

Simmons and Rayson, who finished two points shy of his career-best, helped make up for the absence of last season’s leading scorer Chris Fowler (16.2 points a game). Fowler, a senior and four-year captain, started every game in his career, a streak that ended at 94. John Simmons, who ran his streak of starts to 95, had 10 rebounds for the Chippewas.

Central Michigan led 43-32 at halftime and pushed it to 19 midway through the second half.

Malcolm Drumwright led the Gamecocks with 26 points before fouling out. Jared Hamilton added 16.


Bradley 75, (at) Detroit 67: Rosanna Reynolds led Detroit with 18 points, while Haleigh Ristovski had 15 points and 13 rebounds and Nicole Urbanick scored 13.

(At) Oakland 123, Michigan-Dearborn 38: Taylor Jones scored 23, and Nola Anderson and Beth Mahurin each added 16 as the Golden Grizzlies set a school record for most points in a single game.


Associated Press contributed