A 10-0 start gave EMU the space they needed in a 75-66 win over Rosemont College Sunday afternoon in Harrisonburg. The non-conference win is the fourth in a row for the Royals, as the women head into their Christmas break with a record of 6-3.
Eastern Mennonite does not play again until a Dec. 30 game at Ferrum. It will be their final non-conference contest of the year before the ODAC schedule starts in earnest on Jan. 3. A quirk in the scheduling this year also leaves the women with only four games in the month of December.
Despite an 11-day layoff over exams, the Royals opened against Rosemont (7-4) showing no rust whatsoever. Jess Washington (Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge) scored the final six points of a game-starting 10-0 run, with the final layup coming just 3:14 into play.
The Ravens made only four shots in the first period, but three of them were triples from Jasmyn Parker. EMU still led at the first intermission, 19-11.
The women created a little more space in the second and led by as many as 16 points before settling for a 36-23 lead at halftime.
The lead remained in double figures until Rosemont struck a 10-2 run late in the third to get within five points. The visitors put up 24 points in the frame and kept the margin at five at the final break, 52-47.
Amber Lomax opened the fourth with a three pointer, cutting EMU's lead to just two points, but Myneshia Walker (Freeman, Va./Brunswick) crashed inside for two points to hold off the Ravens' momentum. Parker hit a pair of free throws, before Washington and Walker each hit for two as the Royals bumped the lead back to 58-52.
Twice Rosemont trimmed the margin down to four points before EMU's attacking of the basket had its desired effect. The women scored five unanswered points, on either layups or free throws, to push the margin to 66-57 with 4:32 to go.
Parker hit her final three pointer with 3:37 to go, getting the Ravens within 68-62, but she fouled out after RC's next possession, hacking Walker after a rebound. Parker went to the bench with 2:56 remaining, taking her game-high 27 points and the Ravens' hopes with her.
EMU controlled the final minutes, including three big offensive rebounds, and Rosemont had no firepower left to come back, as the Royals carried to the 75-66 final.
Eastern Mennonite ended with a shooting edge at 44% to 36%, despite being uncharacteristically cold from outside, hitting just 1-of-11 three pointers. They made up for it by converting 20-of-28 free throws. Rosemont kept in the game by going 8-for-22 from outside, led by Parker's 6-for-11 effort.
Walker led a balanced offensive attack for the Royals, notching team highs with 16 points and eight rebounds. She had ten and six in the fourth quarter alone. Chrissy Delawder (Broadway, Va./Broadway) finished with 13 points and seven rebounds. The two combined for all five of EMU's blocked shots.
Washington came in with 11 points and six boards despite being limited by foul trouble. Brianna Zook (Harrisonburg, Va./Broadway) saw a bump in minutes because of that and responded with 12 points and five rebounds. The 12 points tied her career high.
Taylor Baltimore (Bristow, Va./Battlefield) set a career best with six assists.
Leading Rosemont with 27 points, Parker also set her career high. Ayanna Thompson racked up 12 assists along with 11 points. Jayme Byers had 12 rebounds and 11 counters.
There is just one more event left for EMU athletes before Christmas, with the basketball men hosting Frostburg State this Wednesday. Note the earlier start time at 6:00pm.