Royals Extend Winning Streak Heading Into ODAC Tournament

(l-r) EMU celebrated their seniors before the game: high school teammates Alisa Brown, Chanel Shands and Shakeerah Sykes, Marla zumFelde and Nora Osei, joined by Coach Kevin Griffin.  (photo by Sarah Carpenter)
(l-r) EMU celebrated their seniors before the game: high school teammates Alisa Brown, Chanel Shands and Shakeerah Sykes, Marla zumFelde and Nora Osei, joined by Coach Kevin Griffin. (photo by Sarah Carpenter)
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With little to play for except pride, EMU's basketball women ended the regular season with lots of pride, stomping Roanoke by a final of 95-63 in Harrisonburg.  The Royals head into the postseason on a 10-game winning streak with a record of 21-3 overall and 15-1 in the ODAC.  They also extended their home winning streak to 30 straight games.

Eastern Mennonite honored their five seniors before the game, who have won at least a share of all four ODAC regular season titles possible in their time.  Alisa Brown (Dumfries, Va./Forest Park), Shakeerah Sykes (Dumfries, Va./Forest Park), Chanel Shands (Woodbridge, Va./Forest Park), Nora Osei (Springfield, Va./West Springfield) and Marla zumFelde (Goshen, Ind./Bethany Christian) have the most wins of any class in EMU history, now at 86-20, including 62-6 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.

As the top seed in this week's ODAC Tournament, the Royals will play in the quarterfinals Friday at 1:00pm, taking on either No. 8 Bridgewater or No. 9 Shenandoah.  Those two play in Bridgewater on Tuesday.  All games from the quarterfinals to Sunday's championship are at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Va.

Click here to see the official ODAC interactive women's basketball tournament bracket.

Led by their five seniors, the Royals scored the first seven points against Roanoke and never trailed.  The Maroons managed to tie the score at 9-9 before EMU hit a patented huge run.  The women had a 30-5 streak, including the final 18 points unanswered, to push up a 39-14 edge with 4:38 to go in the half.

Shands hit the team's eighth three pointer of the half to expand the lead to 49-20 at the break.

The Royals led by as many as 41 in the second half, strolling to the 95-63 final.

EMU simply out-shot their guests, 51% to 35%.  The women were 12-31 from three point range and 13-15 from the free throw line to complement their 49-38 advantage in rebounding.

Sykes led the seniors with 12 points and 12 rebounds, grabbing her 14th double double of the season.  Shands hit a trio of threes to score a career best 10 points.  Brown led all players with seven assists, while zumFelde had nine points and six boards, and Osei finished with three rebounds.

Giving way to the seniors, Jess Rheinheimer (Manheim, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) came off the bench but was good for 19 points, six rebounds and four assists.

Cary Beahm led Roanoke with 22 points and seven rounds.  Allison Yeaw scored 13.

EMU Coach Kevin Griffin talks about his team's all-around effort in the Senior Day win:

WBB vs Roanoke
Feb 22, 2015

Coach Kevin Griffin talks about the team effort on Senior Day, as the Royals won their 30th straight game in Yoder Arena.