The Michigan State Spartans return to the familiar confines of the Breslin Center this evening for a matchup against in-state foe, the Eastern Michigan Eagles. The Eagles enter the matchup at 1-2 on the season. EMU opened the year with a 68-62 loss at Indiana before knocking off Illinois State 103-98 in double-overtime. Thursday night saw Eastern fall in a narrow 74-73 loss at Northern Kentucky.
Eastern Michigan is coached by first-year head coach and EMU alumnus (and former Michigan State assistant coach) Stan Heath. Drew Denisco, former Michigan State video coordinator, is also an assistant coach on Heath’s bench. The roster includes 11 new players this season, including five transfer players. Noah Farrakhan and Monty Scott, transfer guards and stepbrothers, are tied at 18.3 points per game to lead the Eagles. Scott also leads the team in assists per game (2.7) and steals (2.0), and he posted a career-high 28 points in the double-overtime win over Illinois State. Moe Njie leads the team with 6.5 rebounds, and freshman guard Andrew Wells, who appeared in seven games last season for Eastern, is an East Lansing native.
- Michigan State currently leads the all-time series 32-3 that dates to 1927.
- The Spartans are 22-1 against EMU in East Lansing with the last win by the Eagles, a 35-23 victory, coming on Jan. 30, 1926.
- The last win by Eastern Michigan in the series came in an 84-80 win in Ypsilanti on Dec. 12, 1987. The Spartans have won 10-straight since that loss.
- MSU defeated Eastern 83-67 last year in the season opener. EMU led 19-17 with 8:50 to play in the first half, however, before the Spartans went on a 13-0 run.
- The matchup tonight will be the eighth with Michigan State’s Tom Izzo at the helm, and he is a perfect 7-0 at the Breslin Center against the Eagles.