The Runnin Royals ended the game on a 33-12 run, picking up a 74-68 road win at Hampden-Sydney Saturday afternoon. EMU's basketball men (8-7/2-4 ODAC) got a much-needed victory in the rigorous Old Dominion Athletic Conference, snapping a two-game skid.
The men now look to build a little momentum as they return home to host Washington and Lee University on Wednesday. Eastern Mennonite plays three of their next four at home.
Hampden-Sydney (6-9/2-4 ODAC) scored the first five points in Saturday's game before using a quick 7-0 streak to build a little space. The Tigers led by as many as 12 points in the half until EMU got within 36-32 at the break.
In the second half, H-SC struck back-to-back-to-back three pointers to score nine unanswered points in less than a minute's time, going up 56-41. Staring at the largest deficit of the day, Eastern Mennonite got to work with 13:25 to play.
Isaiah Harris-Winn (Frederick, Md./St. Maria Goretti) got things rolling with a second-chance triple. Two minutes later, the junior hit his third three ball in the span to chisel the margin down to 60-53.
RaShawn Latimer (Warrenton, Va./Kettle Run) eventually hit a pull-up jumper to knot things up at 62-62.
Drawing fouls on EMU's depleted interior presence, the Tigers got a pair of single free throws to inch back ahead 64-62, but the Runnin Royals didn't let up. Jerome Jones (Charles Town, W.V./Washington) drilled a three to flip the men in front at 65-64 with 5:00 to go, giving them their first lead since the opening minutes.
The defense then held Hampden-Sydney scoreless for 4:37 while the offense slowly capped a 9-0 run to get EMU up 71-64 after two Khalil Davis (Harrisonburg, Va./Spotswood) free throws with 1:07 left.
The Tigers finally got a bucket with 54 ticks left to get within five, but Eastern Mennonite hit enough free throws to hold on.
Over the final 13 minutes and 25 seconds of the game, EMU's defense held their hosts to 4-for-15 shooting and forced eight turnovers. H-SC didn't help themselves by going 2-for-9 from the free throw line during that stretch, until making two with eight seconds left.
Both teams finished with shooting marks around 45%. The Royals made the difference by hitting 10-of-24 outside attempts and going 20-28 from the stripe. Hampden-Sydney was just 7-22 from three and 13-24 in free throws.
Harris-Winn buried 5-of-6 threes, scoring a game high 18 points. Jerome Jones had a high-percentage effort with 15 points and eight rebounds. Davis his all six of his free throws to score 13 with three assists and no turnovers. Latimer added eight counters.
Jake Duncan and Guilherme Guimaraes each scored 14 for the Tigers, with JaVontae Reddick putting in 13.