EMU's basketball men shot 47% from the floor in the second half, but couldn't overcome No. 19 Guilford College Saturday afternoon in Harrisonburg. The preseason favorite Quakers (7-1) went home with a 71-52 decision over EMU.
The Runnin Royals (1-5) host Southern Virginia next Tuesday at 7:00pm in their final home game of the first semester.
The men won the opening tip against Guilford but missed their first shot before the Quakers came down and hit a jumper. That pattern continued through much of a first half where EMU made just 32% of their attempts. GC connected on four of their first five possessions for a quick 8-0 lead, and eventually led 10-0 before Josh Whelan (Fort Defiance, Va./Fort Defiance) scored the Royals' first bucket at the 13:02 mark.
Less than five minutes later, however, Kobi Alexander (Madison, Va./Madison County) capped a quick 7-0 burst to get EMU within 13-9. The margin was again at four at 18-14 before Guilford closed the half on a 13-6 run to bump the lead back to 31-20.
Eastern Mennonite came out of the halftime break aggressively and notched a quick 7-0 run slice the margin to 31-27, but they wouldn't score again for more than five minutes. By then the Quakers re-inflated a 41-27 cushion.
A drive-and-dish from Tim Jones (Forestville, Md./Central) found Deion Harwood (Goochland, Va./Goochland) for a triple, before Jones hit his own jumper to get the men within 46-37 with 10:02 to go. But that would be as close as the Royals would get as Guilford hit their shots and took advantage of multiple trips to the free throw line to stretch to the final 71-52 margin.
Harwood connected on 3-of-7 three pointers to lead EMU with 13 points. It was the freshman's third straight game scoring 13 or more. Jones managed 10 points and four assists.
Whelan scored a career high eight points, while Alexander had one of his best collegiate games with a team high nine rebounds, six points and three steals. Chris Simmons (Culpeper, Va./Culpeper County) added six boards.
Kyler Gregory led Guilford with 19 points and nine rebounds.
The Quakers finished with a shooting advantage of 43% to 40%, but the biggest difference came in turnovers and free throws. EMU was -11 in turnover margin and was saddled with 23 fouls compared to just 10 for Guilford. The Quakers finished 16-of-23 from the free throw line while the Royals were 0-5.