The Royals used good shooting, assisted play, and stingy defense to run away to a 98-83 win over Hood College Tuesday night in Harrisonburg. Senior RaShawn Latimer (Warrenton, Va. / Kettle Run) led the charge for EMU finishing with 24 points, five assists and three rebounds. Eastern Mennonite improves to 2-2 on the season.
EMU scored on their first four possessions to set the tone while holding the Blazers without a point for the first 3:01 of the game. However, the 6-0 run was matched and exceeded by Hood when they got their first lead of the night off a jump shot from Daniel Wegener, making the game 15-14.
Jerome Jones (Charles Town, W.V. / Washington) came off the bench and quickly made an impact, as he went 7-10 and added two assists and two rebounds. At the 7:40 mark, he hit a triple to bump the edge to 28-21.
Hood College got within one point twice, but EMU ended the half on a 12-7 run to lead 46-39.
Eastern Mennonite forced eight turnovers in the first 20 minutes, earning a 7-4 advantage in points off turnovers. The bench scored 32 points, led by 18 from Jerome Jones.
The Blazers came within four at the start of the second half, but wouldn't get any closer than that for the remaining 18 minutes. The Royals used an early steal from Maleke Jones (Charles Town, W.V. / Washington) who transitioned the ball to Travis Clower (Romney, W.V. / Hampshire) to find Isaiah Harris-Winn (Frederick, Md. / St. Maria Goretti) for an easy lay in.
EMU cushioned the lead to 14 thanks to Latimer's back-to-back triples, making it 62-48 with 14:30 remaining. Hood College's Brandon Howell drilled a three pointer to make it 64-53, leading to an EMU timeout. But from there the Runnin Royals went on a 13-3 run with 5:45 left to play.
The largest lead of the night for EMU was at the 4:30 mark after DJ Hill (Woodbridge. Va. / Hylton) grabbed a rebound and transitioned the ball to Clower, who found Maleke Jones to capitalize on their 17-point lead.
The men out-shot the Blazers from all areas of the court going 51.4% from the floor, 40.0% from beyond the arc, and 60.9% from the charity stripe.
The Royal earned an assist on 32 of their 37 field goals.
Harris-Winn finished the night with another double-double as he added a trio of long balls and ended the night with 18 points and 10 boards. Clower added five handouts.
Nathaniel Christian came off the bench and paced the Blazers with 18 points and two rebounds. Luke Casey had 13 and 11. Hood hurt themselves by shooting just 3-20 from beyond the three point arc.
EMU's basketball men improve to 2-2, while Hood falls to 0-4. The Royals head into an extended break over Thanksgiving, returning to the court next Wednesday, Nov. 29, in the first ODAC conference matchup of the season against Hampden-Sydney. The road game is slated for 7:00pm.