Royals Drop Tough Decision At Virginia Wesleyan

Travis Clower just missed his career high by making four assists. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Travis Clower just missed his career high by making four assists. (photo by Scott Eyre)

The Eastern Mennonite men's basketball team dropped a late decision to Virginia Wesleyan on Wednesday evening. The Royals slip to 8-11 overall and 3-8 in the ODAC as they prepare to host Hampden-Sydney on Saturday afternoon in Harrisonburg.

Against Virginia Wesleyan (13-7, 7-4 ODAC), the three-ball-leaning Royals shot just 26.9% from three-point range, going 7-of-26. The Marlins, meanwhile, hit a season-best 52.6% of their shots from beyond the arc. As a result, VWU was quick to get on the board and went up 11-6 after 3:06 of play.

It was a tight battle over the next several minutes until EMU found its first lead of the game. Jerome Jones (Charles Town, W.V. / Washington) came up with a steal and then found Travis Clower (Romney, W.V. / Hampshire) from outside range to go up 23-22 with 10:06 remaining. 

The Marlins used a 17-10 run at the end of the first half to take a 39-33 lead at intermission.

RaShawn Latimer (Warrenton, Va. / Kettle Run) exploded in the second half, scoring 11-of-12 points for the Royals by the 14:15 mark, cutting the deficit to one at 46-45. EMU didn't let the margin get above three over the next 3:23 of play. It was Maleke Jones (Charles Town, W.V. / Washington) who hit a trey to make it 54-51 and put EMU back in front.

The final five minutes of the game slowed down the Runnin' Royals stride, as the Marlins scored off back-to-back three-pointers to regain the lead.

Isaiah Harris-Winn (Frederick, Md. / St. Maria Goretti) had EMU at 69-65 after a deep three, but with only 20 seconds remaining the men were forced to foul and unable to come back from the late decision, ultimately falling 71-65.

Latimer was lights out in the second half where he scored 15 of his 20 points. Maleke Jones added 13 points, while Harris-Winn had 11 points and nine rebounds. Sammy Thomas (Owings, Md. / Northern) worked his way to 10 points and 12 rebounds for his third double-double on the season.

Lamont Steward led four Marlins in double figures and came off the bench for 19 points and five rebounds.