BUENA VISTA, VA --- The Royals completed a fantastic comeback against a talented Southern Virginia team Tuesday night, but a bucket with 3.8 seconds remaining spelled the difference in a 66-64 loss.
EMU's women had two contested looks in the final seconds, but couldn't get a shot to fall in taking their second close loss to the Knights (6-1) in two weeks. The two-point loss in Buena Vista came 14 days after a 75-70 final in Harrisonburg.
Eastern Mennonite slips to 2-6 overall. All of the losses have been by seven points or less. The Royals need to rebound quickly, returning to Harrisonburg tomorrow to host ODAC rival Washington and Lee (4-3/2-2 ODAC). Game time in Yoder Arena is 7:00pm.
In Tuesday's loss at Southern Virginia, the two teams traded leads over the first three periods. The Knights built a small margin late in the third, and earned their biggest lead of the night at 55-45 on a three pointer just a minute into the fourth.
EMU turned things around with back-to-back-to-back steals, needing just 37 seconds to slice the margin to 55-52. SVU answered with a three-point play, but after a Chrissy Delawder (Broadway, Va./Broadway) bucket, Lexi Deffenbaugh (Fishersville, Va./Wilson Memorial) grabbed an offensive rebound and nailed a triple to get the Royals within one, 58-57. The long ball capped a wild 12-3 streak that took just 1:43 off the clock.
The Knights put the edge back up to six, but Lindsey Krisak (Alexandria, Va./Thomas A. Edison) finished the comeback with a three ball, finally tying the score at 64-64 with 2:33 remaining.
For the next two-and-a-half minutes, the teams traded empty possession until SVU's Savanna Christensen hit a fading baseline jumper on an inbounds play with 3.8 to go. The tough shot ruined what had been great defense from Eastern Mennonite, forcing a pair of timeouts from the Knights.
After calling their own timeout to advance the ball, Deffenbaugh got a look at a three pointer from the left corner, but SVU's Cory Stout got a hand on the shot to block it out of bounds with 1.1 ticks to go. Krisak's crowded effort from the left baseline then fell short, leaving EMU down on the scoreboard.
The Royals put up 21 points in the final period, out-scoring SVU, 21-14. The women out-shot their hosts 47% to 39% in the frame, picking five steals as the Knights committed seven turnovers.
For the game, EMU had a 40% to 34% shooting edge. The taller Southern Virginia squad earned their win on the offensive glass, though, grabbing 22 offensive boards for an 18-9 advantage in second chance points.
Deffenbaugh missed just one shot all night, finishing with 11 points, six steals and four assists. Jess Washington (Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge) also scored 11. Krisak racked up nine counters, four assists, four steals and a team high six rebounds.
Precious Waddy (Richmond, Va./Henrico) added four assists off the bench while Kiana Childress (Palmyra, Va./Fluvanna County) had three steals. Freshman Constance Komara (Harrisonburg, Va./Harrisonburg) scored seven points in seven minutes of playing time.
Southern Virginia's 6-3 center, Katie Garrish, led the way with 16 points, 19 rebounds, five blocks and four steals.