The EMU Runnin Royals used a 55-point second half to pull away from Apprentice and won 84-75 on Saturday. This non-conference match-up was played in Bridgewater, Va., as part of the weekend long Don Glick Classic. With the win the Royals improve their overall record to 5-5 while the Builders fall to 7-4 on the season.
The two teams traded the first nine points to start the game before Apprentice went on a 9-1 run to take an 18-10 lead. EMU started to find their stride behind the offense of Sammy Thomas (Owings, Md./Northern) who got the Royals back within four after his third made layup in a row to finish a possession that had three offensive rebounds.
The Builders would hold off EMU from tying the game for the remainder of the half, but Tariq Caldwell (Richmond, Va./Lee-Davis) made a layup to bring the Royals within one to go into halftime Apprentice leading 30-29.
EMU started the second half by taking the lead on a made three-pointer by Travis Clower (Romney, W.V./Hampshire). The teams traded points until the Royals used a 6-0 run to pull away from Apprentice and have the lead. After a Builders layup, EMU scored on their next five possessions to build their lead to as much as 13 with 12:30 left.
The Royals would hold off the Apprentice comeback attempt as they would get back within three points at 73-70 with 3:08 on the clock. Jamel Howard (Leesburg, Va./Tuscarora) made a three pointer followed by five made free throws for an 8-0 run. EMU would go on to finish the game scoring their final eight points by making free throws.
The Builders shot better from the floor at 50.8% (31-61) and 33.3% (5-15) from three with EMU close behind at 48.3% (29-60) and 31.8% (7-22) behind the arc.
Thomas led the Royals in scoring with 17 points. Tim Jones (Forestville, Md./Central) and Caldwell both scored 16 points. Jones finished with seven rebounds and four assists. Caldwell added eight rebounds and three blocks.
It is a quick turnaround for the Royals who play Buffalo State tomorrow at noon in Bridgewater.