Emily McCombs (Culpeper, Va./Eastern View) drove down for a layup off the jump ball to start the game and the Royals never looked back on their way to a 79-67 win against Roanoke on Saturday.
EMU shot their best game of the season thus far at 43.8% (28-64) and 47.4% (9-19) from three-point range while holding the Maroons to only 38.5% (25-65) shooting from the floor.
The Royals (3-15/2-10 ODAC) jumped out to an 8-0 lead before Roanoke found the scoreboard midway through the first quarter. Lexi Deffenbaugh (Fishersville, Va./Wilson Memorial) hit a three pointer just before the quarter break to give EMU a 19-9 lead heading into the second.
The Maroons (13-7/8-5 ODAC) climbed back into the game narrowing it to a two-point deficit at the 6:04 mark, but McCombs hit a three pointer then a jumper to widen the lead back out. Jade Payton (Berryville, Va./Clarke County) hit a three pointer to increase the lead as Chrissy Delawder (Broadway, Va./Broadway) made a layup just before halftime to give EMU the 37-30 advantage.
Chloe Roach (Leesburg, Va./Tuscarora) scored the first three points of the third quarter for EMU before another Deffenbaugh triple pushed the lead to 11. Roanoke did not let the game get out of reach as they scored on four straight possessions to make it a three point difference. Payton then McCombs hit back-to-back three-pointers to increase the lead for the Royals as they took a 53-46 lead into the fourth quarter.
McCombs and Roach carried the load for EMU in the fourth quarter as they combined for 21 of the Royals' 26 points in the final frame. Roanoke would get as close as five away from pulling off the comeback, but a few costly turnovers was enough for EMU to take advantage and close out the victory.
Roach and McCombs each scored 21 points and had seven rebounds while combining for nine steals. Delawder finished with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds with two blocks. Deffenbaugh scored 13 points and had five assists.
Roanoke was led by Ayanna Scarborough with 18 points off the bench. Kristina Harrel score 15 while Renee Alquiza scored 10 with 16 rebounds.