No. 3 Wittenberg pulls away, defeats EMU, 80-59
Sunday’s loss wraps up a split of the two-day Don Glick Classic hosted by Bridgewater College. The Royals defeated Apprentice 90-80 in overtime on Saturday.
Eastern Mennonite falls to 2-8 on the season after the loss to the Tigers, ranked No. 3 in this week’s D3hoops.com national poll. This is EMU’s third loss to a nationally ranked team this season.
The men play one more game before the Christmas break, heading to Wilson College Wednesday night at 6:00pm.
The Royals fell in an early hole, but pulled within 15-11 after Mizz Nyagwegwe (Norristown, Pa./Dock Mennonite Academy) converted a four-point play at the 13:06 mark.
Wittenberg exploded the lead back out to 11 points at 25-14 and later at 34-23 before EMU surged to end the half. Josh Whelan (Fort Defiance, Va./Dort Defiance) capped a 13-3 run with an offensive putback in the final minute of the half, tying the score at 40-40. The Tigers snuck in a pair of free throws just before halftime to take a 42-40 lead into the break.
The second half belonged to Wittenberg, though, where they scored the first seven points and quickly built up a double digit lead. EMU made just 4-of-21 shots over the final 20 minutes. The Royals shot 10-16 from the free throw line in the half, but couldn’t mount a comeback because of 11 turnovers.
Tim Jones (Forestville, Md./Central) led all scorers with 21 points on 7-for-11 shooting, despite being drastically limited in the second half because of foul trouble. It was Jones’s second straight effort of 21 or more points and fourth of the season.
Whelan racked up 10 rebounds, including a season high four on the offensive end. He added six points. Chris Simmons (Culpeper, Va./Culpeper County) added nine points off the bench.
Jordan Pumroy led Wittenberg with 15 points while Connor Seipel had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
EMU was -7 in turnover margin and was out-shot 48% to 40%.