EMU gets key ODAC road win, tops Shenandoah, 74-73

emu sportsMaleke Jones (Charles Town, W.V./Washington) came up big when he needed to, sinking the game-winning free throw with just two seconds remaining in Eastern Mennonite’s 74-73 road win at Shenandoah Wednesday night.  The Royals withstood a valiant comeback from the Hornets as they improve to 8-11 overall and 3-8 in the ODAC.

The men had led by as many as 16 points before SU (4-16 / 1-10 ODAC) tied the game on Malcolm Clark’s offensive putback with seven seconds remaining.  Jones then drew a foul on former teammate E.J. Baltimore to set up the final point.  He nailed the first free throw, before intentionally missing the second to produce a long rebound and limit Shenandoah’s chance at a clean shot at the buzzer.

The trick worked as the Runnin Royals got a much-needed win.  Although the men still sit in 11th place in the ODAC standings, they move with one game of ninth place, as both Randolph (4-7) and Washington and Lee (3-7) had mid-week losses.  Eastern Mennonite hosts Randolph-Macon (6-4 ODAC) Saturday afternoon at 3:00pm.

Shenandoah led by as many as five points early in Wednesday’s game before EMU used a 12-0 run to jump ahead 22-15.  The men led 34-26 at halftime.

Isaiah Harris-Winn (Frederick, Md./St. Maria Goretti) drilled a pair of triples early in the second to build some momentum, and then converted a three-point play for a 47-31 lead with 17:26 to play.  But led by Clark, the Hornets slowly came back.

Clark had another offensive putback to get SU within 69-68 with 2:57 to go.  Jones put in a pair of free throws with 1:35remaining to get back a two-possession margin at 73-69.

A Clark layup cut the lead to two with 1:09 to go, and Jones missed a three to leave the door open.  Baltimore misfired on a longball for the Hornets, and the home team had a pair of offensive rebounds in the frantic final seconds when Clark provided the short-lived tie at 73-73.

EMU was out-shot 51% to 42%, but made up for it by having a +5 turnover margin and going 18-22 from the free throw line.  Shenandoah was just 7-16 from the stripe.

Harris-Winn paced the Royals with 23 points and six rebounds.  Jones finished with 12 while RaShawn Latimer (Warrenton, Va./Kettle Run) added 11.  Freshman Xavier McCants (Olney, Md./Sherwood) added six rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Clark dumped in 27 points with 12 rebounds off the bench.  Thomas Walker scored 11 while Baltimore, who played for EMU the past two seasons, put in 10.

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