EMU's basketball women turned smothering defense into a win on Saturday, beating Hollins by a final of 44-34 in Yoder Arena. The Royals shut out their visitors through the opening period and never trailed as they improved to 10-6 overall and 5-3 in the ODAC.
Eastern Mennonite, fifth in the league standings, hits the road on Wednesday, playing at Shenandoah on Wednesday.
The Royals held Hollins (4-12/0-8 ODAC) scoreless over the first 11:20, gaining a 15-0 lead by the time Hollins got their first bucket early in the second. Although the women were also struggling to find their shooting stroke, Myneshia Walker (Freeman, Va./Brunswick) made sure her team stayed ahead, strolling into halftime with 10 points and seven rebounds. EMU was on top 23-9 at the break.
Walker set up Lexi Deffenbaugh (Fishersville, Va./Wilson Memorial) for a triple on the Royals' first possession of the second half, giving them their biggest lead of the game at 26-9.
Hollins found a few openings over the final 20 minutes, but the women never let them closer than 12 points until the final seconds. The visitors put in the final six of the game to provide the final 10-point margin.
Both teams struggled to score, as EMU had a marginal advantage in shooting at 24% to 20%. The Royals also grabbed 14 offensive rebounds for an overall edge of 54-41.
Walker took full advantage of the missed shots as the 5-7 guard grabbed a career high 13 rebounds, earning her second-ever double double with a game high 14 points. Jonae Guest (Dumfries, Va./Potomac) did the trick for the fifth time in the past six games, finishing with 10 points and 11 boards.
Jewellanna Parfitt led Hollins with 12 points, 12 rebounds and five steals. Nicolette Valencia added 12 points and four assists.