EMU Hoops: Men fall to Lynchburg in OT, women lose to Emory & Henry
Lynchburg jumped to a 17-point advantage in the first half, with EMU struggling to score. Once the Royals picked up momentum, the game swayed towards their side.
In the final 20 seconds of the half, a three by Mark Burkholder (Broadway, Va./Petersburg/Geneva) and a steal leading to a jumpshot by Tie Evans (Henrico, Va./Steward School) put the men within eight.
The start of the second half began the excitement.
The two teams continued through the second half trading shots. Both teams were similar in field goal percentage, with the Royals shooting 58.3% from the floor and the Hornets shooting 59.4%.
The Royals made their way all the way back, taking the lead 68-67 with a jump shot from Mizz Nyagwegwe (Norristown, Pa./Dock Mennonite Academy). From there, the Royals would lead for a majority of the final minutes.
The Hornets tied up the score 81-81 with :17 left in regulation. The Royals were unable to capitalize in the final seconds, sending the contest into overtime. EMU would end up outscoring Lynchburg 53-45 in the second half.
Unfortunately, Lynchburg dominated overtime, outscoring EMU 14-6 to push the final score to 95-87.
Burkholder led the scoring for EMU, ending the game with 18 points on top of his team-leading eight rebounds.
Tim Jones (Forestville, Md./Central) and Evans each had 17 points to their names. Jones, in the first game of his senior year, collected 10 assists, a new career high. He rounded out his stat line with five boards and four steals.
Evans buried five triples and scored 17 points. Nyagwegwe added 16 and six rebounds, while Chris Simmons (Culpeper, Va./Culpeper County) also had six rebounds.
Tharon Suggs led Lynchburg (2-0) with 30 points and four assists.
The Royals are scheduled to be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 30 against Randolph College.
Women drop 72-43 decision to E&H
EMU’s season opener was about honoring a senior while seeing the potential of the future.
The basketball women recognized Emily McCombs (Culpeper, Va./Eastern View) before their first game of 2021. The lone captain on this year’s team, she played in 71 games over her first three seasons and scored 509 points.
In Saturday’s loss to Emory & Henry, McCombs triggered her team in a different way, assisting junior Constance Komara (Harrisonburg, Va./Harrisonburg) on the team’s first bucket. Komara ended with team highs of nine points and seven boards, including five off the offensive glass.
In the end, however, early season shooting jitters limited the young Royals in a 72-43 loss to EHC. The Wasps outshot the women 49% to 19% and never trailed.
Eastern Mennonite’s pressure was a highlight, picking 15 steals and leading to 24 turnovers for Emory & Henry. Freshman Vanessa Gardiner (Springfield, Va./John R. Lewis) racked up five of the steals. EMU finished +9 in turnover margin.
Fellow newcomer Mya Wright (Palmyra, Va./Fluvanna County) drained all three of her three-point attempts, co-leading the team with nine points. Gardiner added eight counters while McCombs came in with seven. Kassidy Secrist (Draper, Va./Pulaski County) and Laila Glymph (Culpeper, Va./Culpeper County) each had five rebounds.
Taylor Owens led Emory & Henry with 13 points while 6-2 center Alexis Hoppers had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
EMU hits the road on Tuesday, playing at Ferrum College at 7:00pm.