The Runnin Royals continue to put up points. The issue has come on the defensive end, where injuries seem to have hurt the men the most. Such was the case on Saturday when EMU put up 82 points, including a 15-for-37 showing from outside, but still got outscored in a 90-82 loss at Randolph.
Eastern Mennonite (8-9/2-6 ODAC) has now lost four of five as they come home for two games this week: Shenandoah on Wednesday and Roanoke on Saturday for Alumni Appreciation Day.
Randolph (6-11/3-5 ODAC) broke open a close game by scoring 56 points in the second half. The WildCats are averaging 68.5 points per game.
The early goings were generally within one or two possessions, until Randolph used a 12-4 surge to gain a 32-24 edge. Isaiah Harris-Winn (Frederick, Md./St. Maria Goretti) buried a three pointer to change the momentum, and after a WildCats layup Eastern Mennonite scored the final 10 of the first half to take a 37-34 lead into the break.
But the WildCats started the second with six straight points to steal the lead back. Christian hit a free throw and three pointer to momentarily flip EMU back up, 41-40, but another four points put Randolph back in the driver's seat.
The home team methodically built up the cushion to as big as 69-55 at the 8:22 mark.
RaShawn Latimer (Warrenton, Va./Kettle Run) got the Royals within 74-66 with a three pointer before 6-0 jab cut off the run. The men had one final push, slicing the margin down to four points after another Latimer bomb made it 86-82 with 23 seconds left, but the WildCats went 4-for-4 from the free throw line and EMU missed a pair of three pointers to come up empty.
The men were out-shot in the loss, 55% to 48%. EMU grabbed 14 offensive rebounds and had the overall battle even at 35-35, but a -8 turnover margin hurt.
The WildCats had a 54-24 advantage in points in the paint, and even out-ran the Runnin Royals 19-8 in fastbreak points.
Latimer shot 4-7 from long range and finished with a team high 14 with two steals. Harris-Winn had 12 points and seven rebounds. Christian and Kendall Hawkins (Charlottesville, Va./Albemarle) each dumped in nine points. Xavier McCants (Olney, Md./Sherwood) and Mark Loving (Woodford, Va./Caroline) each scored eight counters, and the duo paired with Latimer to fuel EMU's late comeback attempt.
Ryan Field led Randolph with 36 points and nine rebounds. Reid Jacoby scored 20 with six assists.