EMU Seniors Each Score In Double Figures In Final Home Game

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HARRISONBURG, VA -- Wednesday night was a chance for the EMU community to recognize what five seniors have done to the basketball culture at the school. Those five seniors answered the call once again in the game against Washington & Lee, as each scored in double figures to lead Eastern Mennonite to a 94-82 win in Harrisonburg.

The Generals, which had beaten EMU on Jan. 5 in Lexington, proved a feisty opponent, trading leads with the men through the first 10 minutes. With the score tied at 22-22, the Runnin Royals used a quick spurt to jump ahead 30-22.

Washington & Lee scored the final four of the period, however, trimming EMU's lead to 42-39 at the break.

The Generals outshot Eastern Mennonite 53% to 40% in the opening 20 minutes, as the Royals' defense couldn't find a way to slow down their visitors. Instead, the men stepped up their offense and attacked the rim in the second half.

W&L had a short-lived lead early in the final 20 minutes before the Royals took over. A steady 19-10 run gave EMU a 65-55 lead when Todd Phillips (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) converted a three-point play with 10:45 remaining.

The lead stayed between six and 13 points the rest of the way as the Generals couldn't stop the men from scoring. The seniors took their turns putting in points and the Runnin Royals went 7-8 from the free throw line over the final 1:21 to ice the 94-82 win.

"Our seniors really led the way," said Coach Kirby Dean. "And it was a microcosm of their four years here - it wasn't always pretty but it got the job done."

Despite foul trouble early, Phillips led the way with 22 points and eight rebounds as he drained 5-of-8 three pointers. It was his third straight game with 22 or more points.

Eli Crawford (Staunton, Va./R.E. Lee) went 8-9 from the free throw line and added 19 points and eight boards. D.J. Hinson (Newport News, Va./Menchville) repeatly beat his defender off the dribble and put in 14 points along with a pair of blocked shots.

Orie Pancione (Augusta, WV/Hampshire) was 5-6 from the floor and finished with 13 points and pair of steals. George Johnson (Richmond, Va./Miller School) hit a trio of triples, finishing with 13 points and a game high four assists.

Freshman Marlon Organ (Harrisonburg, Va./Spotswood) finished with eight points, all in the first half.

Turnovers and rebounds were mostly even in the contest. Washington & Lee shot a blazing 52% from the floor, connecting on 36-of-69 shots. EMU was 29-65 for 45%. The Royals made up the difference by going 11-26 from outside and hitting 25-of-31 free throws.

Sophomore J.D. Ey (Charlotte, NC/Myers Park) was 12-15 from the floor for the Generals and finished with a double double at 26 points and 10 rebounds. He also had four assists and four blocks.

The win gives No. 14 EMU its second straight 20-win season at 20-4. The Runnin Royals are also 11-4 in the ODAC and in third place. Washington & Lee falls to 13-12 and 5-11.

Eastern Mennonite wraps up the regular season with a road contest at fourth place Guilford. The Quakers are 10-5 in the ODAC after losing at Hampden-Sydney. Both teams have clinched a first-round bye in the ODAC Tournament and have advanced to the quarterfinals, which start Friday, Feb. 25, in Salem.