Runnin Royals Dropped By Ranked Pioneers

Mizz Nyagwegwe has shot 50% in each of EMU's three games this season. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Mizz Nyagwegwe has shot 50% in each of EMU's three games this season. (photo by Scott Eyre)

The Eastern Mennonite University men's basketball team couldn't stop the unrelenting Pioneers, falling 92-53 to host Marietta College Friday night.

The Runnin Royals move into the consolation game of the Marietta Shrine Tournament, taking on LaRoche University Saturday at 5:00pm.

Marietta, ranked No. 18 in the D3hoops.com national poll, took the first lead with a tone-setting three pointer. The two teams traded leads over those opening minutes with the Pioneers scoring their first nine points on long balls.

EMU had their last lead at 7-6 when Josh Whelan (Fort Defiance, Va./Fort Defiance) converted a three-point play. Marietta answered with a long ball to trigger a 16-2 run, blowing open a 22-9 lead by the 10:32 mark. The up-and-down tempo continued all game, favoring the Pioneers who made 12-of-26 attempts from outside.

Marietta simply out-shot EMU, 48% to 35%, as they won their first outing of the season. The Pioneers, an Elite Eight team last year, have won five consecutive regular season titles in the challenging Ohio Athletic Conference.

The men did a good job getting to the free throw line, especially in the second half, but were only 12-29 from the stripe.

DJ Hill (Woodbridge, Va./Hylton) led the Runnin Royals with 10 points and 12 rebounds, his second double double in three games this season. Tim Jones (Forestville, Md./Central) scored 11 and Mizz Nyagwegwe (Norristown, Pa./Dock Mennonite Academy) added eight, including a pair of three pointers.

For the second straight game, EMU was missing starters Jamel Howard (Leesburg, Va./Tuscarora) and Tie Evans (Henrico, Va./Steward School).

Lukas Isaly drained 4-of-5 three pointers to lead Marietta with 22 points and four steals.