One had to figure EMU's basketball men were due for an "off" game. Unfortunately, it paired with an "on" game for host Lynchburg College, resulting in a 104-74 loss Saturday afternoon.
The Royals slip to 7-6 overall and 1-3 in the ODAC as they prepare to host pre-season favorite Virginia Wesleyan on Wednesday in Harrisonburg.
Coming into Saturday's game, Eastern Mennonite had sandwiched a pair of convincing wins over Ferrum and Bridgewater around an equally impressive exhibition loss at D-I James Madison.
But against the Hornets (8-5, 2-2 ODAC), the three-ball-leaning Royals shot just 27.6% from three-point range and committed a season-high 25 turnovers. Lynchburg, meanwhile, hit a season-best 54.5% of their outside shots and 54.9% overall. As a result, LC scored the first seven points and never looked back.
Maleke Jones (Charles Town, W.V./Washington) had EMU within 15-10 and 17-12 just five minutes into the game, but the defense couldn't get a stop. Lynchburg rarely went more than a possession without scoring and steadily pushed out to a 58-44 lead by halftime.
The Hornets were up 93-57 with 8:43 to play when EMU's starters hit the bench for the final time.
Maleke Jones led the men with 14 points, while Travis Clower (Romney, W.V./Hampshire) added 11. Kendall Hawkins (Charlottesville, Va./Albemarle) added eight points and center Sammy Thomas (Owings, Md./Northern) scored six with three rebounds in his second game back since missing nine games with an injury.
Zack Burnett topped Lynchburg with 20 points and five assists, while Connor Schroeder added 14 tallies and a game-high eight boards.