After trailing for most of the second half, a late comeback was just short of giving Eastern Mennonite University's men a win against ODAC opponent Roanoke College. With the loss, 73-65, the men fall to 8-10 overall (3-7 ODAC) while the Maroons improve to 12-7 (5-5 ODAC).
The first half was back-and-forth, full of short runs and lead changes. In the first ten minutes of play neither team built more than a two-point cushion.
The Royals held the biggest margin at 28-21 after Isaiah Harris-Winn (Frederick, Md. / St. Maria Goretti) drained a three pointer with 7:07 remaining. From there, the Maroons used an 11-3 spurt to come within one at 32-31.
RaShawn Latimer (Warrenton, Va./Kettle Run) knocked in a late three pointer to tie the game at 35-35 heading into the break.
In the first 20 minutes of play, EMU held an advantage in rebounds, 17-12, including four offensive, and went 7-of-11 from the stripe.
At the start of the second half, Maleke Jones (Charles Town, W.V. / Washington) dumped in an early trey, making it 38-37. Roanoke scored on five straight possessions for a 14-0 run for a comfortable 52-38 lead at the 14:41 mark.
Sammy Thomas (Owings, Md. / Northern) sparked some momentum for the Royals after slamming the rock home for two points. Following the dunk, EMU strung together a 12-4 run to bring the score within four, 56-52, after Xavier McCants (Olney, Md. / Sherwood) found Harris-Winn from beyond the arc
EMU used back-to-back three pointers from Maleke Jones to cut the deficit to one, 59-58, with 6:28 to play.
As fouls and free throws took over the pace of the game, Harris-Winn went one-of-two from the stripe to keep the edge at 62-60 with 5:21 to go. But Roanoke responded by closing the game with an 11-5 run.
The men won the rebound margin at +9 (37-28), but they struggled to hit shots, going 40.0% from the floor and 31.6% from three.
The Maroons shot 31-of-55 from the floor (56.4%) and 8-of-14 (57.1%) from three.
Harris-Winn led all players with a double double , scoring 16 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Maleke Jones finished with 15 points, four rebounds, and three assists. DJ Hill (Woodbridge. Va. / Hylton) added 11 points and four rebounds off the bench.
The Runnin Royals will look to bounce back on Wednesday night in Virginia Beach when they head to Va. Wesleyan for a 7:00 game.