The EMU basketball women were within four points of William Peace at halftime, but cold shooting left them with a 77-53 loss in their season opener.
Sunday's game against WPU turned into the Royals' only contest of the weekend after Vermont Tech pulled out of the R-MC Tip-Off Classic in Ashland, Va., due to a small roster size.
Eastern Mennonite returns to action on Wednesday, playing a 6:00pm game at Mary Baldwin University.
Senior Lexi Deffenbaugh (Fishersville, Va./Wilson Memorial) hit EMU's first points of the season on a three ball, giving the women an early 3-2 lead. The Royals were up 12-9 after back-to-back jumpers from Constance Komara (Harrisonburg, Va./Harrisonburg). But they went scoreless over the final four minutes of the first, allowing William Peace to skip in front, 13-12.
The women stayed close in the second, with the Pacers stayed on top, 32-28.
WPU then scored the first four after the intermission, and hit a couple of threes to stretch the margin to 42-32. The Royals hit a long cold spell at just the wrong time and the Pacers blew the lead up to 23 points.
From there, William Peace rolled to the finish, out-scoring EMU 45-25 over the final 20 minutes of play.
The Royals shot just 16-for-64 for 25%, while WPU was 31-of-70 for 44%.
Making her first start, Komara broke her career high with 14 points, including a pair of three pointers. Deffenbaugh shot 3-of-5 from downtown, adding 11 points. Both Komara and Deffenbaugh were named to the All-Tournament Team following play.
Khadijah Daniels led WPU's balanced attack with 16 points off the bench. Jaymesha Sanders had 16 points and 15 rebounds.