In a battle of the ODAC's best bigs, EMU's guards made the difference in a 74-67 win at Randolph-Macon Tuesday night. The Royals push their winning streak to eight in a row, their longest since winning 11 straight late in the 2014-15 season.
Eastern Mennonite (17-6/12-3 ODAC) heads to second-place Lynchburg on Saturday for both team's regular season finale. Gametime is 2:00pm. A win would push the Royals ahead of LC in the ODAC standings, while a loss could drop the women to the fourth seed in next week's tournament.
The first three periods of the game against Randolph-Macon (12-11/7-8 ODAC) were filled with runs until EMU's women pulled away from a tie game by winning the final period, 25-18. Chloe Roach (Leesburg, Va./Tuscarora) scored 10 of her team's points over that final 10 minutes.
She hit a jumper eight seconds into the frame to give the Royals a 51-49 lead before R-MC got a three pointer for what turned out to be their last lead. Jonae Guest (Dumfries, Va./Potomac) scored off a pass from Roach and her team responded to score 11 unanswered points. A pair of free throws from Chrissy Delawder (Broadway, Va./Broadway) gave the Royals a 62-52 cushion with 5:34 to go.
The Yellow Jackets got within five points, the final time on a layup from Amber Lee to make it 68-63 with 1:11 remaining, but Guest pounded in a three-point play on a fastbreak with 28 ticks left to close the door.
EMU's big 11-0 run in the fourth was merely continuing a trend started from the opening tip. Randolph-Macon scored the first six points of the game before the Royals scored 13 straight to take the lead.
The Yellow Jackets used an 8-0 run at the end of the half to grab a 31-27 cushion at the intermission.
The Royals scored seven in a row early in the third to tie the score at 35-35 before the teams traded points to close the period locked at 49-49.
While most stats were even in the contest, Eastern Mennonite won it by attacking the basket. The women made more free throws than their opponents attempted, going 24-29 compared to 15-18 for R-MC. The Royals also had a +6 turnover margin.
Myneshia Walker (Freeman, Va./Brunswick) finished with a game high 24 points, including a 13-for-17 performance from the free throw line, to go with nine rebounds. Roach ran right with her backcourt-mate, coming in with 23 points, nine boards, four steals and three assists.
Guest was good for another double double, at 18 points and 12 rebounds. Lexi Deffenbaugh (Fishersville, Va./Wilson Memorial) chipped in four assists.
Kelly Williams, the Yellow Jackets' star freshman center, charted 18 points, 16 rebounds and seven blocked shots. Forward Amber Lee added 14 points and 15 rebounds. R-MC's starting guards combined for five points.