Winning Streak At Nine As EMU Women Down R-MC 81-70
HARRISONBURG, VA --- EMU pushed their winning streak to nine games Tuesday night, holding off Randolph-Macon at home by a final of 81-70. The Royals shot 52% from the floor in the second half to stretch out a close game and clinch a spot in the ODAC Tournament Quarterfinals.
Eastern Mennonite is now 12-1 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, tied with Guilford as the only teams with just one conference loss. The Quakers, who play at Hollins Wednesday, come to Harrisonburg on Saturday in what is shaping up to be the biggest game of the season. The winner of that contest will have the inside track at claiming the top spot in the upcoming ODAC Tournament. EMU beat Guilford 57-44 when the two met in Greensboro, NC, on Nov. 28.
The Royals only trailed one time against Randolph-Macon, down 8-7 four minutes into the game. Yet their biggest lead in the first half was just six points, and EMU was up 34-29 at halftime.
In the second half, the women found seams in the Yellow Jacket zone and became unstoppable. The Royals made 15-of-29 shots and committed just four turnovers over the final 20 minutes. EMU also hit 15-of-22 free throws in the final frame as they dumped in 47 points.
Steph Rheinheimer (Manheim, PA/Lancaster Mennonite) canned a three pointer with 16:16 to go, giving the women their first 12-point lead at 46-34. The lead stayed between seven and 12 points the rest of the way as EMU gritted out the victory.
Steph Rheinheimer and Shakeerah Sykes (Dumfries, VA/Forest Park) were a big part of the win. Sykes came off the bench and pounded in 23 points on 10-14 shooting, to go along with nine rebounds. It was a career high in scoring for the sophomore. Steph Rheinheimer hit five triples and charted 19 points to tie her career high.
Bianca Ygarza (Conestoga, PA/Penn Manor) also flirted with a double double, coming in with 12 rebounds, nine points and five assists. Point guard Keyla Baltimore (Bristow, VA/Brentsville District) scored all 12 of her points in the second half and had five assists with no turnovers. Jess Rheinheimer (Manheim, PA/Lancaster Mennonite) added seven boards and a game high three steals.
Katie Anderson (Beaverdam, VA/Patrick Henry) led R-MC with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Sarah Parsons (Glen Allen, VA/J.R. Tucker) added 15 counters.
Eastern Mennonite is 16-5 overall after the win. The nine-game winning streak ties the longest streak the women had last season. The program record is 12 games in a row during the 1984-85 season.