The men’s basketball team scored two big road wins against University Athletic Association (UAA) opponents last weekend, defeating the Case Western Reserve University Spartans 82-60 on Friday and topping the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Tartans 95-70 on Sunday. The victories moved the Eagles to 11-4 on the season and 3-2 in UAA play.
The Eagles got off to a fast start in Friday’s game on five unanswered points from sophomore guard Michael Florin and raced out to an early 15-7 advantage when junior forward Jake Davis nailed a three-pointer with just over 11 minutes to go in the half.
The Spartans wouldn’t go away, however, slowly chipping at the lead until they tied the game at 35 on a free throw with six seconds left. The free throw capped a 10-2 Case Western run to close the half.
The Eagles, led by senior guard Alex Greven’s 12 points, shot 40 percent (14 for 35) in the first half, while the Spartans sank 50 percent (13 of 26).
Emory came out the hotter team in the second half, however, launching a barrage of three-pointers that ran the lead to double digits in just five minutes. A three from junior guard McPherson Moore — one of three he made in the first six minutes of the half — capped off a 24-3 Eagles run that earned them a 63-42 lead they would not surrender.
Greven credited the team’s shooting talent for their hot start.
“We focus on the game plan, take good shots, and the offense takes care of itself,” Greven said.
The Eagles ended up shooting 59.3 percent (19 of 32) in the second half including a blistering 67 percent from three-point range, outscoring the Spartans 47-22 after halftime.
Greven wound up leading the Eagles with 21 points on eight for 13 shooting, his fifth game of the season scoring at least 20 points.
Moore contributed a season-high 19 points, including 15 in the second half to spark the Eagles’ pivotal run. Davis added 15, his 37th straight game in double-digit points, along with eight rebounds.
Emory continued its dominating play on Sunday against Carnegie Mellon, opening the game on a three-pointer from Moore and racing out to a quick 16-5 lead just five minutes into the game.
The Tartans battled back to cut the lead to six on several occasions but could get no closer than that for the rest of the game.
The Eagles began to pull away towards the end of the first half, when a Greven three-pointer put them up 50-33. A tip-in from Davis with 10 seconds left in the half gave Emory a 52-37 halftime advantage, the fifth time this season they topped 50 points in the first half.
The team’s hot shooting continued, hitting 56.7 percent of their shots (21 of 37) in the first half, including 58 percent from deep.
Greven had an impressive 16 points in the opening stanza, while Davis and Moore added 15 and 11, respectively.
The second half proved to be more of the same, as a three-pointer from sophomore forward Alex Foster extended the Eagles’ lead to 20 points with 14 minutes left in the game. The Tartans would not get closer than 15 points the rest of the way.
Emory ended the game with a 48.6 percent (35 of 72) shooting rate, with an impressive 46.4 percent (13 of 28) for beyond the arc.
The Eagles sank 13 threes, their second-best total on the season. CMU hit 42.3 percent (25 of 59) in comparison.
Davis finished with a game-high 22 points, with Greven and Moore contributing 19 each.
Moore also knocked down four of four from the free throw line, extending his streak to 31 straight makes, good for fourth best in school history.
Foster added 11 points with a perfect three-for-three night from beyond the arc.
Greven also contributed a team-high eight rebounds, pacing the team to a 42-33 advantage on the glass.
The Eagles will attempt to extend their three-game winning streak on Friday, Jan. 25 when they host UAA-leading Brandeis University.
“It’s the biggest game of the year because it’s our next one,” Greven said. “That’s how we approach every game. We have to take care of business on our home court.”
— Contact Ryan Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org