Senior Brianna Zook (Harrisonburg, Va./Broadway) scored a career high 22 points, but it wasn't enough as EMU's basketball women suffered a 75-64 loss at Washington and Lee Wednesday night.
The Generals broke a late tie with an 8-0 run to snap Eastern Mennonite's five-game winning streak. The Royals fall to 7-4 overall and 2-1 in the ODAC. W&L improves to 8-3 and 2-1.
The women return to Yoder Arena this Saturday for a huge matchup with Randolph-Macon. The Yellow Jackets (9-2 / 2-1 ODAC) feature sophomore center Kelly Williams, who leads the nation in both scoring (25.2ppg) and rebounding (19.5rpg). Game time is 4:30pm, following an EMU men's game against Guilford at 2:00pm.
It was an up-and-down game for the women, who used a huge 25-point second period to grab a 34-31 lead at halftime. The Royals shot 50% in the second in addition to a 9-for-11 performance at the free throw line. However, they were just 3-for-6 from the stripe in the other three frames combined.
Eastern Mennonite was +6 on the boards (40-34) and held a slight shooting edge at 41% to 39%, but free throws and turnovers made the difference. Washington and Lee finished 19-26 from the line, attempting nine more free throws than EMU. The women were also -9 in turnovers.
The Royals committed eight of their 21 turnovers in the first period, and quickly fell in an 11-2 hole. Zook helped EMU chisel into the margin in the second and they final earned their first lead of the night in the final seconds of the half, when Myneshia Walker (Freeman, Va./Brunswick) rebounded her own blocked shot and found Lindsey Krisak (Alexandria, Va./Thomas A. Edison) for a three pointer and a 34-31 lead.
The women led by as much as 47-41 after a jumper from Zook late in the third, but W&L unleashed a 10-0 run in the final two minutes to a take a 51-47 advantage into the fourth.
Over the first three minutes of the final frame, the two teams traded points, creating four leads changes and three ties. Walker's lay-up with 6:57 to play made the final deadlock at 59-59.
But EMU went cold from there. The Generals methodically scored the next eight points before Zook scored inside and converted one-of-two free throws. Washington and Lee answered with another 8-0 run to pull away, ended only when Zook scored again in the waning seconds. Altogether, W&L closed the game on a 16-5 streak.
Zook's performance was special, as she hit 9-of-12 shots and went 4-for-5 from the line. Her 22 points were 10 more than her previous scoring high of 12.
Walker worked her way to 15 points and six rebounds while Jess Washington (Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge) had eight points and a game high seven boards. Lexi Deffenbaugh (Fishersville, Va./Wilson Memorial) added a couple of triples and five assists off the bench.
Ailyn Kelly led Washington and Lee with 23 points, hitting three long balls and 10-of-12 free throws. Katie Popp scored 15 off the bench and Emily Perszyk had 12 points, six rebounds and three steals.