EMU women rally, beat Washington and Lee, 64-62

Eastern Mennonite closed the game on a 20-4 run, and Bianca Ygarza (Conestoga, PA/Penn Manor) gave the women their first lead of the second half with the game-winning layup, securing a 64-62 ODAC victory at Washington & Lee Wednesday night.

With the game tied, Ygarza drove to the hoop from the free throw line and put EMU ahead with 42 seconds to play.

W&L’s Becca Bolton missed a turnaround jumper with 14 seconds to go, and Kala Yoders (Myerstown, PA/ELCO) scooped up the rebound.  After the Generals burned a couple of fouls, the Royals went for the knockout punch, but a long pass up the floor to Stephanie Rheinheimer (Manheim, PA/Lancaster Mennonite) was stolen.  Rachel Warrick missed a potentially game-winning trey and time expired as the Royals chased down the rebound.

The exciting ending capped a massive comeback, as the women dug themselves out of a 15-point hole.

Eastern Mennonite trailed by six at halftime, 32-26, and watched as the home team built the lead to as high as 43-28 and 48-33 with a strong start to the second.

With the deficit at 58-44, freshman Nora Osei (Springfield, VA/West Springfield) converted a three-point play to start the comeback with nine minutes remaining.  The Royals scored nine in a row to trim the lead to five, and finally tied the game at 62-62 when Rheinheimer drilled a three pointer with 1:26 to go.

Warrick then missed a triple for W&L, setting the scene for Ygarza’s game-winner.

A key for EMU was a 36-29 advantage in rebounding, including 17 offensive boards.

“I was so proud of how we just kept fighting,” said Coach Kevin Griffin.  “With eight different players in the scoring column, it was a total team effort.  And they had the top two rebounders in the league and we won the rebounding war.”

Yoders led a balanced attack with 13 points and seven rebounds.  Ygarza had 10 counters.  Keyla Baltimore (Bristow, VA/Brentsville District) came in with eight points, five caroms, three assists and three steals.

Shakeerah Sykes (Portsmouth, VA/Forest Park) had eight points and six rebounds.  Marla Young (Fishersville, VA/Wilson Memorial) also had eight points along with a team high four assists.

Katy Wilson led the Generals with 19 points.  Meg Ingram had 12 points and eight assists.  Both women played 39 of 40 minutes in the game.

The Royals shot an effective 27-of-58 from the floor for 46.6%, including 4-of-10 from outside.

The win pushes Eastern Mennonite to 9-1 overall and 6-1 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.  Coming up is a busy weekend, as the women host Emory & Henry Friday night and conference-leading Guilford Saturday afternoon.


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