Lynchburg stings Runnin Royals on the road
The EMU men fall to 0-2 in the conference with pre-Christmas losses to two teams picked in the top five of the ODAC Preseason Poll. They also have a loss to defending champion Guilford.
After a break for final exams, the Runnin Royals play their three final non-conference games before the Christmas break. The men play the Don Glick Classic next weekend at Bridgewater College, getting Apprentice on Saturday at 2:00pm, followed by No. 3 Wittenberg on Sunday.
Against Lynchburg, the Royals scored first after winning the opening tip, getting a bucket from Josh Whelan (Fort Defiance, Va./Fort Defiance). In the pattern of the night, they went scoreless over the next three minutes as Lynchburg took an 8-2 lead.
The Hornets had a double digit cushion before Alijah Ellis (Stafford, Va./Indian River) canned a three pointer at the 9:12 mark, cutting the lead to 24-16. But over the next five minutes, the home team out-scored EMU 10-2, bumping the margin to 34-18. They led 46-27 at halftime.
After the intermission, the pattern continued, as Eastern Mennonite couldn’t slow down the Hornets, and in turn couldn’t get their offense going.
Lynchburg finished with a 55%-to-39% shooting advantage and the Royals closed -8 in turnover margin.
Whelan scored in double figured for the second straight game, leading EMU with 12 points. Tim Jones (Forestville, Md./Central) scored 11, including making 3-of-5 triples. Sophomore Chris Simmons (Culpeper, Va./Culpeper County) scored a career high eight points with five rebounds in his first career start.
T.C. Thacker led Lynchburg with 24 points and five rebounds while Dow Dunton added 15 and six off the bench.