Buzzer-beater lifts EMU past Shenandoah in OT

Dajon Daniel (Fredericksburg, VA/Mountain View) capped a crazy night with a game-winning layup at the buzzer of overtime, giving Eastern Mennonite’s men an 88-87 win at Shenandoah Tuesday.

Shenandoah’s James Bowens (Stephens City, VA/Sherando) made only the first of his two free throws with 5.6 seconds left in overtime to give the Hornets a one-point lead. Adam Burroughs (Roanoke, VA/Northside) grabbed the rebound, and his pass up the court was nearly stolen, but an SU player stepped out of bounds with the ball.

Randell Smith (Woodbridge, VA/Garfield) then inbounded the ball near midcourt and found Daniel curling off a screen from the left side for the winning bucket.

The late dramatics finished off a heart-racing ending, which saw 13 turnovers over the final 6:51 of regulation and overtime.

The Runnin Royals had a 76-71 lead after an R.J. Sims (Fort Washington, MD/Friendly) jumper with 1:24 left in regulation. But the men turned the ball over five times after that and Shenandoah sent the game into OT after a steal and layup from Xavier Alston (Fredericksburg, VA/Courtland) with four seconds left.

The Hornets then scored the first six points in the extra session to go up 83-77, but missed 7-of-11 free throws after that to allow EMU back in. Daniel scored nine points to go with two from Sims to complete the surprise ending.

Eastern Mennonite had a 23-12 lead in the first half for the biggest edge of the night. Sims was on fire from outside in the opening frame, scoring 20 points by halftime and hitting all six of his three-point attempts.

Sims finished with a career high 29 points along with six rebounds. Daniel also finished with his career best, notching 18 points including 10-14 from the free throw line. He also had seven assists, another career mark, and five rebounds.

David Falk (Madison, VA/Madison) finished with 15 points. Burroughs had nine points and a team high seven boards. Wing Andrew Thorne (Front Royal, VA/Skyline) left the game with an injury early in the second half.

Avery Green (Fredericksburg, VA/Courtland) led Shenandoah with 20 points, seven rebounds and six steals. Dominic Chappell (Manassas, VA/Stonewall Jackson) had 17 points.

SU shot 52.5% from the floor, compared to 43.9% for the Runnin Royals. Neither team shot well from the free throw line. EMU was 22-36 for 61.1% while the Hornets missed one too many at 17-30 for 56.7%.

The road win pushes Eastern Mennonite into the Christmas break at 5-6 and on a three-game winning streak. They return to ODAC play on Wednesday, Jan. 4, when they host Washington & Lee.

Shenandoah settles at 1-8.

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