The first Rowdy Royals Game was a success as the EMU basketball women beat Shenandoah 63-47 backed by an engaged, athlete-filled crowd. The Royals improve to 8-9 on the season and 5-5 in ODAC play.
Lexi Dean (Elkton, Va./East Rockingham) got the Royals on the board to start the game on a made layup. Then a steal by Emily McCombs (Culpeper, Va./Eastern View) led to Lexi Deffenbaugh (Fishersville, Va./Wilson Memorial) finding Lindsey Krisak (Alexandria, Va./Thomas A. Edison) who made a deep three pointer for the first crowd eruption of the night as the Royals took a 5-2 lead.
Shenandoah responded with a three of their own and played evenly with EMU until Chrissy Delawder (Broadway, Va./Broadway) made a three pointer followed by a Dean layup put the Royals up 17-13 after the first quarter.
The Hornets got on the board first in the second quarter at the 6:15 mark then added a layup with a made free throw to take 19-17 lead. Constance Komara (Harrisonburg, Va./Harrisonburg) made three baskets in a row which tied the game twice then put the Royals ahead 23-21 on a made jump shot with 2:31 to go in the half. From there EMU did not trail the rest of the game. Delawder made a layup to put the Royals up 27-21 going into halftime.
McCombs started the second half for the Royals making her first two shots to start an 8-0 run that increased their lead to 12. Shenandoah ended the run with a three pointer, but EMU came right back with three pointers by Krisak and Delawder to push the lead to 15.
The Hornets found their rhythm on an 11-0 run to get back within four points with two minutes left in the quarter. Krisak and Deffenbaugh ended the run making shots to give the Royals an eight point cushion to begin the fourth quarter.
EMU continued to add to their lead going up by as much as 16 with 5:47 to play after made free throws by McCombs. Cheyenne Suamataia-Teo (Stafford, Va./Mountain View) entered the game in the final two minutes and added six well-earned points in the paint as the Royals finished the game in front of an excited crowd.
The Royals shot 37.7% (26-69) from the floor and 31.3% (5-16) from three point range as the Hornets shot 27.6% (16-58) and 23.5% (4-17) from behind the arc.
Dean was a force in the paint picking up a career high six blocks to go along with her eight points and ten rebounds, She started in place of Jess Washington (Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge) who missed the game due to injury.
Krisak used swift hands to collect a career high seven steals to add to her 10 points. Delawder finished with 10 points and eight rebounds. McCombs finished with nine points.
The Royals head on the road for their next contest as they take on Head Coach Jenny Logan's former school, Hollins, in a 2:00pm game on Saturday.