Royals Rebound With 72-60 Win Over Tigers

Travis Clower scored all 17 of his points in the second half. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Travis Clower scored all 17 of his points in the second half. (photo by Scott Eyre)

The Runnin Royals (9-11/4-8 ODAC) got a much-needed victory on Saturday afternoon after taking down Hampden-Sydney 72-60. The game also honored EMU's basketball alumni through the years, highlighting four former coaches and the 2009-10 Elite Eight team. 

The men now look to build a little momentum as they travel across town to Bridgewater College on Wednesday for a 7:00pm tilt. Eastern Mennonite will close out the season by playing two of their last three games in Yoder Arena. 

The game started off at a crawl, with the score knotted at 11 after eight minutes of play. The Runnin Royals followed with a 22-8 run over the next seven minutes, which was sparked by back-to-back threes from Isaiah Harris-Winn (Frederick, Md. / St. Maria Goretti) and Jerome Jones (Charles Town, W.V. / Washington). Tariq Caldwell (Richmond, Va./Lee-Davis) also added eight points in the spurt to bump the score to 26-18.

The Tigers scored on four consecutive possessions to cut their deficit and tie the game at 26-26 at the 3:21 mark. After back and forth play the Tigers drained a late three-pointer and nearly walked into the locker room with a one-point lead until Maleke Jones (Charles Town, W.V. / Washington) answered on the other end with a three of his own at the buzzer, making it 33-31 at halftime. 

HS-C was first to get on the board after intermission, but at the 16:55 mark the Tigers received a technical foul, which kicked the Royals into high gear as they went on to score 12 of the next 14 to go out in front 45-36 with 12:55 to play. 

After the Tigers cut the deficit to three at 45-42, EMU used another run, this time 9-0, to go up by 12 with 8:05 remaining. The run secured the win for the Royals as they would command the lead for the duration of the game. 

Hampden-Sydney held a 47.1% to 39.1% shooting margin from the floor, but EMU made the difference from the stripe and off the glass. The Royals were a modest 8-for-31 from three, but pinned the Tigers to 4-for-13 shooting from long range. The men were 14-19 from the free throw line compared to 8-16 for HS-C. EMU was also +10 in rebounding, 40-30. 

Travis Clower (Romney, W.V. / Hampshire) and Maleke Jones each scored 17 points en route to the ODAC win. Harris-Winn tallied nine points and 10 rebounds.