For the first 20 minutes, Eastern Mennonite and Hampden-Sydney went back and forth, locked in a game with a few ties and nine lead changes. The Runnin Royals began to find their stride in the second, but ultimately the score tilted in the Tigers' favor, 80-73.
Eastern Mennonite falls to 2-3 (0-1 ODAC) while Hampden-Sydney improves to 2-4 (1-1 ODAC). The Royals will look to avenge tonight's loss when they play the Tigers again on February 3 in Yoder Arena.
H-SC jumped out to a 17-7 lead at the 12:21 minute mark after going on an 11-2 run in three minutes. Isaiah Harris-Winn (Frederick, Md. / St. Maria Goretti) answered and scored the next 12 points for EMU to close the gap at 23-19 with 6:43 remaining in the half.
From there the Runnin Royals went on an 18-12 run started by Travis Clower (Romney, W.V. / Hampshire), who accounted for 10-of-12 points in the run.
Clower started the scoring with a lay up and three pointer, which seemed to turn the remainder of the half into a battle from beyond the arc. Over the next three mintues, 12-of-14 points from EMU and H-SC would be scored from three.
With 28 seconds left, Chad Simmons (Williamsburg, Va./Bruton) grabbed an offensive board to give the Royals the final possession. Maleke Jones (Charles Town, W.V. / Washington) a look from three with 7 seconds left to give EMU the go-ahead at 37-35
The momentum from Maleke Jones' three carried into the second half as the Royals started hot on an 11-2 run, giving EMU its largest lead of the game at 16:46 after Harris-Winn made a lay up.
EMU held the lead for the majority of the second half until H-SC stormed back to tie it up at 62-62 with just six minutes left.
The Tigers got help from Kevin Quinn and Nick Chase to take the lead until RaShawn Latimer (Warrenton, Va. / Kettle Run) and Maleke Jones made back to back threes to bring the game back within two with 3:30 left.
However, that was the closest the Royals got before H-SC would run away with the win.
With 50 seconds left, Latimer was fouled and brought the score to 74-70, but with time running out EMU was forced to foul and consequently dug a hole they were unable to get out of. The Tigers finished the game on the free throw line going 7-for-8 in the final minute.
The men shot 27-of-68 (.397) from the floor, 11-of-34 (.324) from three, and 8-of-11 (.727) from the free throw line.
EMU held a 12-4 edge in offensive rebounds, which allowed for a 16-6 advantage in second chance points.
Harris-Winn finished with a team high in both points (22) and rebounds (8). Clower stroked 3-of-5 three pointers and scored 15 on the night, while Maleke Jones also ended with 15 and added six assists and seven rebounds.
Malik Crute dumped in 21 for the Tigers. Kevin Quinn was good for 18 points and four rebounds.
The Royals look to rebound from the road loss when they return to Yoder Arena on Saturday against Averett. Tip off is slated for 2:00pm and follows EMU's women who host Trinity at 12:00pm.