The Eastern Mennonite men's basketball team dropped a late decision to Virginia Wesleyan on Wednesday evening. The Royals slip to 8-11 overall and 3-8 in the ODAC as they prepare to host Hampden-Sydney on Saturday afternoon in Harrisonburg.
Against Virginia Wesleyan (13-7, 7-4 ODAC), the three-ball-leaning Royals shot just 26.9% from three-point range, going 7-of-26. The Marlins, meanwhile, hit a season-best 52.6% of their shots from beyond the arc. As a result, VWU was quick to get on the board and went up 11-6 after 3:06 of play.
It was a tight battle over the next several minutes until EMU found its first lead of the game. Jerome Jones (Charles Town, W.V. / Washington) came up with a steal and then found Travis Clower (Romney, W.V. / Hampshire) from outside range to go up 23-22 with 10:06 remaining.
The Marlins used a 17-10 run at the end of the first half to take a 39-33 lead at intermission.
RaShawn Latimer (Warrenton, Va. / Kettle Run) exploded in the second half, scoring 11-of-12 points for the Royals by the 14:15 mark, cutting the deficit to one at 46-45. EMU didn't let the margin get above three over the next 3:23 of play. It was Maleke Jones (Charles Town, W.V. / Washington) who hit a trey to make it 54-51 and put EMU back in front.
The final five minutes of the game slowed down the Runnin' Royals stride, as the Marlins scored off back-to-back three-pointers to regain the lead.
Isaiah Harris-Winn (Frederick, Md. / St. Maria Goretti) had EMU at 69-65 after a deep three, but with only 20 seconds remaining the men were forced to foul and unable to come back from the late decision, ultimately falling 71-65.
Latimer was lights out in the second half where he scored 15 of his 20 points. Maleke Jones added 13 points, while Harris-Winn had 11 points and nine rebounds. Sammy Thomas (Owings, Md. / Northern) worked his way to 10 points and 12 rebounds for his third double-double on the season.
Lamont Steward led four Marlins in double figures and came off the bench for 19 points and five rebounds.