EMU Basketball: Ferrum trips up Royals in final minute in 67-64 win
In a game of missed opportunities, the final one came in the closing seconds. Trailing by one, the Royals forced Ferrum (13-10/8-6 ODAC) into a missed shot and junior Tie Evans (Henrico, Va./Steward School) pushed up the floor after grabbing the rebound. Looking to get the ball to leading scorer Tim Jones (Forestville, Md./Central), Evans’ pass was picked off by the Panthers’ Rashad Reed who kept on going for a lay-in with six seconds left.
Even with the debilitating turn of events, the men still had a chance to force OT, but Jones’ three from the right wing rimmed out, leaving Ferrum with the 67-64 win.
Bolstered by stifling defense in the first half, the Runnin Royals led for nearly 29 minutes of the game. They held Ferrum to just 19% shooting (6-32 FGs) in the first 20 minutes.
Senior Jamel Howard (Leesburg, Va./Tuscarora) stroked in a three for the game’s first points, and he later capped an 11-0 run with a dish from Jones on the fastbreak. EMU led 19-9 at that point, and earned their biggest lead when freshman Devin Mosley (Culpeper, Va./Culpeper County) hit a free throw to make it 23-11 at the 4:54 mark. The Royals were up 31-22 at halftime.
But for a Ferrum team that runs on a live-or-die by the three mentality, everything turned around after intermission. The Panthers had connected on only 3-of-12 triples in the first half, but Reed got them going in the second. He hit a three pointer just 1:44 into the frame and added another one less than two minutes later to shave EMU’s lead to three.
Ferrum finally got in front when Kajuan Madden-McAfee drained a triple at the 14:50 mark, triggering a back-and-forth exchange of the lead.
Reed hit back-to-back threes to build a 48-45 lead for the Panthers before Chris Simmons (Culpeper, Va./Culpeper County) scored six unanswered to put EMU back in front.
The Royals kept a small margin until Marcus Phair scored inside with 1:25 to play, bumping Ferrum on top, 63-62. Jones stroked in a pair of free throws with 1:12 to go, but Reed scored again with 56 seconds left to give the visitors a 65-64 edge. Each team missed on their next possession to set up Reed’s big steal and bucket.
Led by Reed, who exploded for 22 points in the second half, Ferrum hit 9-of-16 three pointers over the final 20 minutes. He finished with 27 points to top all scorers.
The Royals out-shot FC for the game, 42% to 35%, and were 18-25 from the free throw line, but couldn’t overcome the Panthers’ outside shooting.
Jones led Eastern Mennonite with 19 points, including 12-of-13 free throws. He tied his season high with six assists and three steals. Simmons added 10 points and nine rebounds, while Michael Williams (Richmond, Va./Varina) also scored 10 with six boards.
Mosley scored all seven of career high total in the first half. DJ Hill (Woodbridge, Va./Hylton) was limited to seven points and five rebounds.
James Smith Jr. added 19 points, including four triples, for Ferrum.
The Royals (5-18/3-11 ODAC) sit tied for 10th place in the ODAC standings, but will need at least one win in the final week to have a chance at the 10-team ODAC Tournament. They play two of the league’s top teams, heading to third place Washington and Lee on Wednesday before finishing at second place Virginia Wesleyan.