Runnin Royals Dominate Keystone, 109-88

Sammy Thomas was one of seven Royals to score in double figures. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Sammy Thomas was one of seven Royals to score in double figures. (photo by Scott Eyre)

The Runnin Royals had seven finish in double figures as Eastern Mennonite rolled over Keystone College, 109-88, on Saturday afternoon in Bridgewater, Va. EMU won both of its games at the Don Glick Classic to improve to 4-5 overall. 

The Royals were quick to get things going as Sammy Thomas (Owings, Md./Northern) tipped the ball to Maleke Jones (Charles Town, W.V./Washington) for an easy layup just three seconds into the game. 

At the 15:49 mark, Keystone forced an EMU timeout after guard Austin Smith poured in back-to-back threes for the Giants.

Jerome Jones (Charles Town, W.V./Washington) pulled up from three and cut the deficit to five, 17-12. From there, with 14:09 left, EMU went on to score 17 unanswered points. Twins Maleke Jones and Jerome Jones combined for 12 points and a pair of assists in the run. 

Keystone responded again and scored on the next four possessions getting nine unanswered to bring the margin to one at 30-29, but a technical foul given to Keystone's bench put RaShawn Latimer (Warrenton, Va./ Kettle Run) on the charity stripe. After hitting both free throws, Maleke Jones set Latimer up for another three on the next possession to give the Royals a 38-31 lead.

Keystone didn't lose their grit as they came back within one point and nearly took the lead until Jerome Jones came up with a steal for an easy Latimer layup with 4:35 left. Less than a minute later, Isaiah Harris-Winn (Frederick, Md./St. Maria Goretti) went on a solo 9-2 run, en route to his third double-double on the season, to take the lead to 50-42.

Despite EMU continuing to add to their lead, Keystone scored on the last three possessions of the first half to bring the score within three at 52-49. 

Keystone continued with the momentum to start the second, but it wasn't long before the Royals started to run away with the lead for good. At the 16:56 mark, Travis Clower (Romney, W.V./Hampshire) and Maleke Jones pulled up for back-to-back threes, sparking a 14-5 run to make it a 76-64 game. 

EMU was up by eight points with 11:15 to go when the second technical foul of the game was called, this time putting Keystone on the line. In the midst of confusion and the need for clarification, EMU's bench received another technical foul not even a minute later. Keystone was unable to convert on the two free shots, so the score stood at 76-72 with plenty of game left to play. 

With 7:18 remaining, EMU went on another long run scoring 13 unanswered points, which put the game out of reach for the Giants. The run was spread evenly with help from Maleke Jones, Clower, Thomas, DJ Hill (Woodbridge. Va./Hylton), and Harris-Winn. 

After holding the Giants scoreless for more than three minutes, Harris-Winn gave the Royals their largest lead of the game at 102-77 with 4:29 left.

Eastern Mennonite shot 50.7% from the field (37-73), making 10-of-27 three-pointers and 25-of-36 free throws. Keystone shot 39.7% from the field (31-78), making 12-35 three-pointers and 14-21 free throws. The Runnin Royals held a 50-43 advantage on boards. 

Maleke Jones led the way for EMU finishing with 24 points and seven assists. Latimer ended with 20 points and six rebounds. Hill, Jerome Jones, and Thomas finished with 12 apiece, with Thomas and Jones adding five rebounds and Hill grabbing six. 

Harris-Winn finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists for his second consecutive double-double, third overall.

The Royals are back in action on Wednesday, Dec. 20 against Frostburg State. The game is slated for 7:00pm in Yoder Arena.