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EMU Basketball: Ferrum trips up Royals in final minute in 67-64 win

emu basketballEMU missed a great chance at an upset on Saturday, falling 67-64 to Ferrum College in Yoder Arena.

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.

augusta free press
augusta free press