Royals Unable To Complete Comeback Despite Second Half Flurry

Precious Waddy aggressively attacked the basket in her 19 minutes of play. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Precious Waddy aggressively attacked the basket in her 19 minutes of play. (photo by Scott Eyre)
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Visiting Emory & Henry shot lights out in the first period and made the margin stick as they handed EMU's basketball women an 81-72 loss on Saturday.

Despite playing a good game, the Royals suffered their third straight loss as they emerge from a tough stretch in their schedule with a record of 10-8 overall and 5-5 in the ODAC. Of the six games left on EMU's slate before the postseason tournament, none of the opponents possesses a winning record. The women play two road dates next week, starting with Tuesday's game at Hollins.

Eastern Mennonite is currently in a three-way tie with Washington and Lee and rival Bridgewater for sixth in the league standings.

Emory & Henry (14-5/7-3 ODAC) entered Saturday's game shooting just 30.5% from three-point range. However, the Wasps countered EMU's game-opening zone defense by canning four triples and shooting 53% from the floor. The visitors stormed to a 22-8 lead less than 10 minutes into play.

The Royals turned on their defense in the second, holding EHC to a single field goal during an 11-4 streak. Precious Waddy (Richmond, Va./Henrico) buried a pair of free throws to trim the margin to 26-21 at the 5:53 mark. They still trailed at halftime, 33-28.

Both offenses took off after the intermission, combining to shoot 31-for-52 from the floor for 60% shooting. Lindsey Krisak (Alexandria, Va./Thomas E. Edison) and Myneshia Walker (Freeman, Va./Brunswick) keyed what was often a dizzying pace, started by Krisak sandwiching triples around an EHC three pointer, all in the span of 29 seconds, to leave EMU down two at 40-38.

After an old-fashioned three point play from the Wasps, Walker hit a pair of longballs, but the women still trailed 47-44. A sudden dry spell turned into an 8-1 run for Emory & Henry, bumping the margin back to 55-45.

Shortly into the fourth, Walker decided to put on a show. Starting at the 8:18 mark, the senior scored 15 of EMU's 17 points, a streak ending with her jumper in the lane with 2:46 to play. She made seven straight shots, including a three pointer, despite having a defender or two draped over her much of the time.

Even with Walker's incredible offensive display, the Royals could not stop Emory & Henry. The Wasps connected on 8-of-15 shots in the final 10 minutes, including three treys, as Eastern Mennonite would only get as close as two points. Walker's three pointer pushed EMU within 66-63, and Waddy put in two more free throws to cut it to 71-69 with 2:13 to go.

Chrissy Delawder (Broadway, Va./Broadway) nailed in a three with 54 seconds left, again bringing it to two at 74-72, but EHC worked the clock before getting a knockout three pointer from Myesha Logan with 29 ticks to go. The Wasps' point guard had made just 4-of-23 threes coming into the game, before sinking the clutch shot. Walker finally missed, and Emory & Henry finished off the scoring with 4-of-4 free throws for the final 81-72 margin.

Walker's 27-point outburst was a season high for any EMU player. She made 11-of-23 shots, including three triples, but only earned four free throws despite a physical EHC defense. Walker's career high is 30 points, scored against Virginia Wesleyan last February.

Krisak came out firing from the start of the game and finished with 17 points and four assists. She tied her career high with five three pointers on 11 attempts. Waddy added some nice play off the bench, scoring a season best eight points, including six perfect free throw shots.

Delawder added seven rebounds and five assists. Jess Washington (Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge) was bottled up on the offensive end, but pulled in a game high eight rebounds.

Taylor Blevins and Sydney McKinney each scored 19 to co-lead Emory & Henry.