Title image via Hampton Athletics
Courtesy of Hampton Athletics
Hampton University men’s basketball team ends their non-conference schedule against Mid-American Conference foe Eastern Michigan. The Pirates have faced the Eagles on two separate occasions. HU has not faced EMU since the 2000-01 season. Hampton would be victorious escaping Ypsilanti, Mich. with a 73-71 win.
A Look at the Pirates
The Pirates enter Thursday’s contest with a (4-7) record. Coach Edward Joyner Jr.’s squad is looking for their first road win since the Paradise Jam. Hampton had a hot start to the month of December picking up consecutive wins over Virginia University of Lynchburg and Mary Baldwin. Since the victory over the Fighting Squirrels HU has dropped two straight.
In their last time out, Hampton fell to the Falcons of Bowling Green. After a defensive first half, the Pirates led 31-21. Bowling Green’s offense exploded in the second half shooting 62 percent from the field. Sophomore Kyrese Mullen had a strong performance going off for 19 points and six rebounds. Ja’Von Benson finished the contest just two rebounds shy of his first career double-double.
So far this season the Pirates have been playing at one of the fastest paces in the country. According to kenpom.com HU has the 25th highest tempo in the country. With Hampton playing at a quicker pace they are averaging 17.3 fastbreak points per game which is the 10th most in the nation. The Pirates continue to defend from beyond the arc at a high rate. Opponents are on average shooting 28.5 percent from three.
Hampton by the Numbers
- 4: Ja’Von Benson had a career-high in blocks against Bowling Green
- 9: For only the third time this season HU committed 10 or fewer turnovers
- 6: Kyrese Mullen has produced the ninth most double-doubles in the country
- 51.7%: Kyrese Mullen has the sixth-best field goal percentage in the Coastal Athletic Association
- 10: Tristan Maxwell is one of 10 players at the Division I level to have a triple-double this season
A Look at the Eagles
Eastern Michigan enters Thursday afternoon’s contest with (5-5) record. After opening the season with a loss to perennial power Butler, EMU went (4-1) in their next five. Since the loss to North Dakota the Eagles have only had won win. Eastern Michigan hast dropped consecutive contests to Oakland and Michigan.
The Eagles are coached by Stan Heath who enters his second season with the program. Heath is an alumni of EMU and was a three-year letterwinner during his time as a player. In his season under the helm, Coach Heath won his first five home games. This marked the best home start for a new head coach since the 1996-97 season.
Eastern Michigan by the Numbers
- 27: Tyson Acuff accounted for 41 percent of the Eagles’ total shots against Michigan
- 1.56: Julius Ellerbe has the sixth-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the MAC
- 165: Tyson Acuff has attempted the 34th most field goals in the country
- 22.4: Acuff sits seventh in the nation for points per game
- 2: The Detroit, Mich. native, has had multiple thirty-point-plus games this season