For 15 minutes, the young Royals hung with No. 5 Virginia Wesleyan. Then the Marlins took over and ran away with a 91-65 decision Wednesday night in Virginia Beach.
When VWC started off with a dunk coming off the opening tip, the men knew they had their hands full. But Eastern Mennonite responded and jumped ahead 7-6 when Andrew Thorne (Front Royal, VA/Skyline) threw down a dunk of his own.
The Runnin Royals hung around, led by Thorne and freshman James Williams (Capitol Heights, MD/Archbishop Carroll), trailing just 30-28 with 4:45 left in the half. Virginia Wesleyan then unleashed a 13-2 surge to close the frame, heading into the break on top 43-30.
EMU couldn't stop Donald Vaughn (Woodbridge, VA/Dumfries Potomac) in the second, as the Marlins' center scored their first 10 points after the break to push the deficit to 53-33. The rest of the team took over, finishing off a 19-3 start to the second, taking a 62-33 edge.
The Royals never recovered as they had a two-game winning streak snapped and slipped to 8-10 overall and 3-6 in the ODAC.
Virginia Wesleyan out-shot EMU 46% to 35%. They also forced the men into 24 turnovers. The Royals forced only 11 miscues and had a season low three turnovers.
Thorne finished with 16 points and seven rebounds. Williams added a career high 12 points as he went 6-for-8 from the free throw line. He added a team high three assists.
The Royals did a good job of getting to the free throw line, finishing 22-34 from the stripe. VWC was 21-30.
Vaughn had a game high 25 points, while DJ Woodmore (Virginia Beach, VA/Landstown) added 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Marlins.
Eastern Mennonite returns home this weekend, hosting Roanoke Saturday night at 7:00pm.