EMU basketball women fall in OT at R-MC, 90-83

emu sportsEMU has played in some classic basketball games over the past week, and Tuesday night at Randolph-Macon was no different.  Unfortunately for the women, however, this time they came out on the losing end of a 90-83 overtime decision, snapping their seven-game winning streak.

Senior Jess Rheinheimer (Manheim, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) tied the game with two seconds left in the fourth, as EMU erased a four-point deficit over the final 19 seconds of regulation.  But they made a pair of crippling turnovers in the final minute of OT and the Yellow Jackets held on by going 6-for-6 from the free throw line to ice it.

In a battle of perennial ODAC powers, both offenses were in high gear in the opening period.  Jonae Guest (Dumfries, Va./Potomac) triggered an 11-2 run which bumped the Royals in front 24-16.  Alicia Ygarza (Conestoga, Pa./Penn Manor) converted a three-point play for the women’s biggest lead of the night at 27-18.  R-MC’s Hannah Livermon drilled a three pointer to provide the score at the first break, 27-21.

Things quickly slowed down in the second as both teams’ shooting percentages dropped.  The Yellow Jackets eventually tied the score at 32-32 and inched ahead 41-38 at halftime.

Eastern Mennonite turned on the defense in the third, holding their hosts to just 10 points.  The Royals methodically took back the lead, with Rheinheimer’s triple providing a 55-49 edge late in the frame.  Katie Anderson scored at the buzzer, though, to give R-MC a little momentum heading into the fourth period.

They tied the score at 55-55 early before the offenses again hit hiccups.  EMU went back up by four, and led 64-60 after a three pointer from Myneshia Walker (Freeman, Va./Brunswick) with 3:14 to go.  The Yellow Jackets scored five straight points to flip in front and the teams traded points.  Rheinheimer eventually tied the score at 67-67 with a single free throw with 1:03 left.

Anderson scored to put R-MC back in the lead, and after an EMU miss, Livermon put in a layup to put the Yellow Jackets up 71-67 with 19 seconds showing.  Rheinheimer hit a huge three pointer with 14 ticks to go and the Royals turned to fouling.

Taylor Intermill made just one of two free throws, making it 72-70, before Rheinheimer’s jumper with two seconds left earned OT.  Anderson missed an inside shot at the buzzer for R-MC.

Sa’Mone Moore (Covington, Va./Covington) scored the first point of overtime on a free throw, but the Yellow Jackets answered with the next four to vault ahead 76-73.  The home team hit a pair of threes to work out to an 82-77 edge with 1:50 left.

Guest scored inside before Moore picked out a key steal.  Ygarza converted on the fastbreak to get back within one point at 82-81 with 1:13 to go.

Livermon got loose inside to make it 84-81, but then the Royals got sloppy with back-to-back careless turnovers.  The Yellow Jackets responded with four straight free throws to earn their biggest lead of the night at seven.  Rheinheimer converted two of her own tosses, but another pair of free throws from R-MC with 19 seconds left provided the final score, 90-83.

After a hot first frame, the Royals struggled to find their shooting stroke and finished at 38.8% (31-80).  It was just the third time this season the women shot under 40%.  They grabbed 20 offensive rebounds to stay in the contest, but Randolph-Macon earned their edge by shooting 43.2% (32-74) including 10-22 from three point range.

Rheinheimer was hounded by the R-MC defense all night but worked her way to 23 points.  The forward added six rebounds, three steals and a career high seven assists.  Exactly one week after notching her first career triple double, Ygarza flirted with the fete again, coming in with a career best 14 rebounds, 11 points and seven assists.  Both seniors played all 45 minutes.

Guest added 12 points and seven rebounds off the bench.  Moore scored 11 points with five boards while Walker added 10.

Livermon led all scorers with 29 points, helped by her 5-of-10 shooting from three point range.  Anderson picked up the double double with 20 points and 14 rebounds.

The Royals, now 10-3 and 3-2 in the ODAC, return home to lick their wounds by hosting Hollins at 1:00pm on Saturday.  It’s part of a busy day in Yoder Arena, also featuring the men’s basketball team hosting Emory & Henry at 3:00pm followed by the volleyball men taking on D-II Coker at 6:00pm.

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