E. Michigan eliminates N. Illinois with a 72-69 win
YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — James Thompson IV scored 21 points with 11 rebounds, Ray Lee scored 20 and Eastern Michigan beat Northern Illinois 72-69 on Monday in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament on Monday.
Ty Toney blocked Eugene German’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer to preserve the win. Eastern Michigan (16-16) will play top-seed Akron (24-7) in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Lee’s 3-point play off a layup made it 71-63 with 3:26 to go and Eastern Michigan held on. The Eagles missed their lone shot attempt after Lee’s bucket and went 1 for 6 from the foul line down the stretch. Toney added 13 points for the Eagles but missed four free throws in the final 38 seconds to give the Huskies hope.
Baylee Steele made a layup with 11:05 left to play and neither team scored in a 2 ½-minute span until Aaric Armstead buried a jumper. German added a layup and Northern Illinois (15-17) was within 58-55 with eight minutes left.
Marin Maric led Northern Illinois with 24 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. Levi Bradley added 17 points and German 10.