A cold spell over the final eight minutes of the first half proved too much to overcome as the EMU basketball men took a 77-65 loss at Wilson College Wednesday night.
The loss drops the Runnin Royals to 2-9 as they wrap up an inconsistent first half of the season. After a 16-day break, the men return to action with ODAC play on Saturday, Jan. 4, hosting Roanoke College at 2:00pm. That day will be a doubleheader with the EMU women, who will similarly be returning from their Christmas break to host Ferrum College.
Against Wilson, the Royals earned an early lead by scoring the first five points before the Phoenix rose on top with a short burst. EMU momentarily got back in front at 21-20 and 23-22, but Wilson scored the next seven points and ended the half on an 18-7 tear to lead by ten, 40-30.
The men chiseled the margin down to nine a handful of times early in the second, but they lacked the offensive consistency to make a big run.
Defense was a problem for EMU, being out-shot 47% to 41%. Despite holding a +6 turnover margin, the Royals were whistled for 25 fouls and sent Wilson to stripe for 29 free throws.
DJ Hill (Woodbridge, Va./Hylton) had team highs with 15 points and six rebounds, while Tim Jones (Forestville, Md./Central) added 14 points and three assists. Center Josh Whelan (Fort Defiance, Va./Fort Defiance) was good for 10 points and six boards. Tie Evans (Henrico, Va./Steward School) picked up three assists and two steals.
Adrian Thomas led the Phoenix with 14 points and eight assists. Jeremy Delaney was 3-for-4 from outside and scored 15.