A cold start proved too much to recover from as the EMU basketball women lost 81-67 at Roanoke Tuesday in an ODAC Tournament First Round game.
Despite shooting a season-best 57% from outside, the Royals see their year ended with a record of 10-16. The women hit 8-of-14 shots from three point range, just the second time all season they have made at least half of their shots from three.
But it was cold spells on the offensive end and an inability to stop Roanoke defensively that cost them.
The No. 7-seeded Maroons (17-9) scored on their first possession and never relented. Aided by three offensive rebounds, Roanoke scored on their opening four possessions and vaulted to an 8-0 lead.
Eastern Mennonite got a bucket from reserve Jourdyn Friend (Richmond, Va./Meadowbrook) for their first score, but the home team kept coming. Another 7-0 spurt made it 15-2, and back-to-back threes from Molly Hassell finished off another 8-0 jab, inflating a 23-5 cushion just 8:20 into play.
The margin grew as big as 36-12 midway through the second before a three pointer from Lindsey Krisak (Alexandria, Va./Thomas A. Edison) finally changed the momentum. EMU finished the frame on a 14-7 effort to get within 43-26 at halftime.
Keyed by a hot start from Jess Washington (Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge), the Royals continued their comeback after the break. Washington converted a three-point play just eight seconds into the third and Chrissy Delawder (Broadway, Va./Broadway) added a three ball during a 9-0 run, getting EMU within single digits at 43-35.
The women snuck within seven after Precious Waddy (Richmond, Va./Henrico) got a steal and layup, making it 46-39 at the 5:09 mark. But for as well as the Royals were playing during that 13-3 start to the half, another three ball from Hassell reversed the trend.
Roanoke scored 11 unanswered points and ended the period on a 15-4 streak, rebuilding a 61-43 margin heading into the fourth.
The Royals scored the first five of the final frame, but could not recapture the magic. Waddy picked a steal and hit Lexi Deffenbaugh (Fishersville, Va./Wilson Memorial) for a three with 3:31 to play, but that 74-65 score was the final time the women were within single digits. Roanoke closed on a 7-2 run to clinch it.
Overall, the Maroons out-shot EMU, 51.7% to 40.0%.
Krisak scored 16 points and racked up a career high seven assists in her final game. Washington added 11 points and seven rebounds, while Delawder had 11 points and six boards.
Deffenbaugh had eight points and three assists. Waddy scored seven with a team best three steals.
Kristina Harrel had 17 points, six rebounds and four steals to lead Roanoke. Hassell connected on 4-of-5 threes and totaled 16 points. Renee Alquiza scored 15 off the bench, while reserve guard Ayanna Scarborough led all players with nine assists.