Royals Dig A Hole They Can't Get Out Of At W&L

After a perfect 7-7 effort against W&L, Sammy Thomas leads the ODAC with a 63.9% field goal percentage. (photo by Scott Eyre)
After a perfect 7-7 effort against W&L, Sammy Thomas leads the ODAC with a 63.9% field goal percentage. (photo by Scott Eyre)

EMU made run after run in the second half, but couldn't overcome Washington and Lee's lead, eventually dropping a 97-82 decision on the road Wednesday night. Now 5-8 overall, the Royals will look for their first conference win on Saturday afternoon against Lynchburg College.

The Royals were quick to get on the board after Isaiah Harris-Winn (Frederick, Md. / St. Maria Goretti) scored the first points off a jump shot. In their next possession the Generals turned the ball over allowing Sammy Thomas (Owings, Md. / Northern) to find Harris-Winn to make it 4-0. 

The two teams traded leads but at the 11:32 mark the Generals created some separation after going on a 9-0 run to make it 24-13.

With 5:19 left, Maleke Jones (Charles Town, W.V. / Washington) sunk a three pointer to bring the score to 35-33. The two teams were stalled for 3:10 of play until the Generals used a 9-3 run in the closing minutes for a 48-38 halftime score. 

W&L pushed their lead to 58-43 early in the second, but Eastern Mennonite came right back with a 16-4 jab to get within 64-59, after RaShawn Latimer (Warrenton, Va./Kettle Run) and Harris-Winn made back-to-back three pointers.

The pattern continued with the Generals building a 8- or 9-point cushion, and EMU cutting it back down to two possessions. 

Latimer drilled another triple with 9:40 to go, getting the Royals back within 64-59, but the home team steadily built their lead and scored on three straight possessions to extend the lead to 84-71. 

From there W&L patiently put the game away with a 12-4 run. 

EMU grabbed 13 offensive rebounds and held a slight 45-43 rebounding edge, but were slightly trumped by Washington and Lee in most other categories, including 48% to 40% in shooting from the floor and 34% to 24% from beyond the arc. The Royals were also 20-30 from the line and missed a few opportunities in one-and-one situations. The Generals were 14-25 from the stripe.

W&L capitalized off of fast break points (22-8) and points off turnovers (24-7), despite the Royals -3 turnover margin. 

Thomas showed an adept offensive touch inside, finishing with a career high 17 points in just 18 minutes of play. 

Harris-Winn finished with a double double, scoring 18 points and grabbing 14 boards. Latimer added 14 points and dished out four assists.

Washington and Lee showed why they lead the ODAC in scoring, with four players in the double figures. Clayton Murtha, who is second best in the league with 18.7 points per game, finished well above his average with 30 points and nine rebounds. Devin Kearns added 22, Roy McMillan finished with 18, and Nicholas George had 10 en route to the home victory.

The men are back in action on Saturday, Jan. 13 taking on Lynchburg in a double-header with the women. The men's start time is slated for 2:00, while the women take the court at 4:30.