NCAA Basketball programs Michigan State, Michigan, Oakland, and Eastern Michigan all won their games on the day before Thanksgiving.
Michigan State started off the day facing off against undefeated Loyola Chicago in the first-round game of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. It was a close game throughout with both teams playing solid defense limiting the other team’s offense from producing a ton of points on the scoreboard.
However, Spartan forward Malik Hall had his best game of the season shooting a perfect nine for nine from the field for 24 points and he also had seven rebounds. However, the ending of the game is what will be remembered.
With the game being tied and the Ramblers’ defense focusing on Hall and Gabe Brown, point guard Tyson Walker threw a perfect alley-oop to center Marcus Bingham for the two-hand dunk which would end up being the game-winning basket. Michigan State takes on No. 22 ranked UConn in the semifinals of the tournament.
Michigan hosted Tarleton and the Wolverines played great defense in the first half with a 31-22 lead going into the second half. The Texans played a much better second half by the Wolverines and Tarleton cut the Michigan lead by only three points with approximately four minutes remaining in the game. However, the Wolverines played well in the final few minutes of the game.
Michigan would end up winning the game by a final score of 65-54 to give them their fourth win of the season. The Wolverines will have some time to rest as their next game is not until Dec. 1 when they go on the road to face off against North Carolina in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Oakland playing their third game in three games as participants of the Gulf Coast Showcase tournament, face off against Delaware in the finals. The Golden Grizzlies played well throughout led by Horizon League player of the year favorite Jamal Cain who had 28 points which were his third time this season of scoring 28 or more points. His strong tournament play did not go unnoticed as he was named Tournament MVP. He was not the only Golden Grizzlies player who played well.
Star point guard Jalen Moore contributed 16 points, nine assists, and six rebounds in an all-around strong performance. Starting power forward Trey Townsend chipped in 12 points, three rebounds, and two assists. Coming off the bench and only playing in his second game of the season, Zion Young had 12 points.
The Golden Grizzlies will have a little bit of time off as they prepare for conference play as they travel to face off against UIC on Dec. 2. Head coach Greg Kampe is happy with his teams’ performance as they are currently ranked in the top 3 of the RPI rankings and are now predicted by many to win the Horizon League championship this season.
Eastern Michigan hosted Western Illinois who entered this game, defeated Nebraska on the road, and beat Northern Kentucky. The Leathernecks’ only loss prior to this game came on the road against DePaul in which Western Illinois only lost by four points. Eastern Michigan was focused and ready to compete against the Leathernecks.
Even though the Eagles have three losses, all of their defeats came on the road where they played Michigan State and Indiana, in which they only lost by six to the Hoosiers and Northern Kentucky who they were leading at halftime by double digits but ended up losing by only one point. Eastern Michigan was determined to get the win against Western Illinois.
In a defensive struggle in the first half where Eastern Michigan trailed by two at the half, the Eagles’ offense came alive in the second-half lead by Monty Scott who had a team-high 16 points and Noah Farrakhan who chipped in with14 points to lead Eastern Michigan to a 72-68 victory. The Eagles’ next game is on the road on Nov. 28 against DePaul as they hope to get their third win of the season.