The Runnin Royals broke out of their recent slump in a huge way on Friday night, shooting a season-best 60.3% from the floor as they blew past Apprentice School, 112-84.
The 112 points scored were the most in five years, matching a 112-61 win over Maryland Bible College in Dec. 2012. Friday's win also marked the best team shooting percentage since a 61.7% effort in a 124-71 win over Penn State-Brandywine in Nov. 2010.
Snapping a three-game losing skid, Eastern Mennonite used help from Isaiah Harris-Winn (Frederick, Md. / St. Maria Goretti) who added his second double-double of the season with 15 points and 13 rebounds, and RaShawn Latimer (Warrenton, Va. / Kettle Run) scored a team-high 16 points to lead the Royals.
Sammy Thomas (Owings, Md. / Northern) scored the first two baskets of the game, sparking an early 7-2 initial run. However, Apprentice scored four straight to erase the deficit and take the lead at 12-11 with 14:47 to play.
After a back and forth battle, the Builders held what would be their largest lead of the game at 24-20 lead with 10:34 remaining in the half.
From there, the Royals went on a 15-5 run and never trailed again. DJ Hill (Woodbridge. Va. / Hylton) started the streak and totaled six points in the run. Kendall Hawkins (Charlottesville, Va. / Albemarle) added a three-pointer and a layup, along with a basket each from Jerome Jones (Charles Town, W.V. / Washington) and Latimer.
With the Royals leading 47-38 and 1:58 to go, Harris-Winn drained a three from beyond the arc to raise the margin to 12. Travis Clower (Romney, W.V. / Hampshire) closed the half with a jump shot to give EMU a 54-40 cushion heading into the locker room.
EMU used a 10-3 run to start the second half, which started with Maleke Jones (Charles Town, W.V. / Washington) finding Latimer from beyond the arc for three.
With 13:17 remaining, Jerome Jones poured in back-to-back three pointers to raise the margin to 22. From there it was lights out, as the Royals would finish the half with at least a 22-point lead.
In the final six minutes of the game, the Royals scored five straight and outlasted the Builders, 19-10, down the stretch.
Eastern Mennonite struggled from behind the three point-arc, finishing only 8-23 long range attempts, but shot incredibly from the floor, connecting on 44-73 field goals, 60.3% in all.
The Runnin Royals also held a big edge on boards, grabbing 59 compared to the Builders' 33.
Apprentice struggled from all areas, going 30-79 (38.0%) from the floor and 6-27 (22.2%) from three-point range. The Builders were led by Romello Anderson, who finished with 30 points and added seven boards.
The Royals improve to 3-5 overall, while Apprentice remains winless on the season, 0-9. The Royals will return to action in the Don Glick Classic on Saturday afternoon against Keystone College at 1:00pm.