HARRISONBURG, VA --- A cold spell in the first half proved too much to overcome for the EMU basketball men Wednesday, dropping a 75-63 decision at home to Washington and Lee University.
The Generals used a 13-3 run midway through the first to blow open what had been a one-point game and then wouldn't allow Eastern Mennonite to get any sort of run going. A 5-0 spurt over a pair of possessions was the biggest streak the Royals would put together, getting within 43-36 with 14:14 to play, but W&L's answer of a three pointer put the margin back in double figures and captured the essence of the night.
After shooting just 33% in the first, EMU put together a 15-for-29 shooting effort in the second half, but couldn't stop the Generals from shooting over 50% as well. For the game, Washington and Lee out-shot the Royals 48% to 42%.
EMU was -3 in turnover margin and gave up 11 offensive rebounds, allowing their visitors to hold an 18-8 advantage in second chance points.
The loss drops Eastern Mennonite to 8-7 overall and 3-3 in the ODAC. The Royals end their short homestand with a 2-1 mark after last week's double-digit wins. Washington and Lee improves to 11-4 overall and 4-2 in the ODAC with their fourth straight win.
The tone was set early in the game, as the Generals won the opening tip and scored on an offensive putback on that possession. EMU had their first shot attempt blocked, and were in a quick 6-0 hole before Tim Jones (Forestville, Md./Central) hit their first bucket.
Jones was a bright spot, using his quickness to attack the basket and elude would-be shot blockers. The point guard shot 8-for-12 from the floor and scored a career high 19 points. Jones also had three assists.
Jamel Howard (Leesburg, Va./Tuscarora) and Sammy Thomas (Owings, Md./Northern) each chipped in 10 points. DJ Hill (Woodbridge, Va./Hylton) was good for seven points and a game high eight rebounds off the bench. Tariq Caldwell (Richmond, Va./Lee-Davis) had seven rebounds.
William Brueggeman had 15 points to lead five Generals in double figures. Curtis Mitchell, WLU's 6-8 center, racked up five of his team's nine blocked shots.
The Runnin Royals hit the road this weekend, playing at Roanoke College on Saturday. Game time is set for 3:30pm.