Royals overcome slow start and run by Randolph, 79-48

From the opening minutes of the game, you wouldn’t have known that visiting Randolph was still looking for its first conference win.  But after falling behind 10-2 to the WildCats, the Eastern Mennonite women quickly regrouped and controlled the rest of the game in a 79-48 victory in Harrisonburg Friday night.

Randolph College confidently came out in a zone, knocking the Royals out of their offense.  RC scored on five of their first seven possessions and jumped ahead 10-2 just 3:49 into the game.

Then the EMU women started attacking the bucket.  They scored their next six points from the free throw line, which ignited a 24-4 run over a span of 6:22.  Bianca Ygarza (Conestoga, PA/Penn Manor) tied the score at 14-14 with a free throw, and Stephanie Rheinheimer (Manheim, PA/Lancaster Mennonite) canned a triple to cap the streak, pushing the Royals to a 26-14 edge with 8:55 to go in the half.

Eastern Mennonite led 39-27 at halftime and continued the surge in the second.  The women played great as a team, getting assists on all 11 of their first-half buckets and first 14 overall.

The WildCats got within nine points early in the second, before the Royals pushed the lead to 19 at 53-34.  Randolph never recovered as EMU ran away with the win.

The women had a slight edge in shooting at 47% to 44%, but made up the difference in the game everywhere else.  EMU had a 36-28 advantage on the boards, while picking 16 steals and forcing 31 WildCat turnovers.

Rheinheimer finished 4-for-8 from long range and topped all scorers with 18 points.  Ygarza was right behind with 17 counters and seven rebounds.  Kala Yoders (Myerstown, PA/ELCO) had 11 points, six rebounds and five steals.

Freshman Marla zumFelde (Goshen, IN/Bethany Christian) continued her recent surge off the bench, scoring eight points.  Shandell Taylor (Richmond, VA/Highland Springs) and Keyla Baltimore (Bristow, VA/Brentsville District) co-led the Royals with five assists apiece.

Jensen Hoover (Woodstock, VA/Central) led Randolph with 10 points.

Eastern Mennonite improves to 15-1 with their ninth straight win.  The Royals stand atop the ODAC with a 12-1 record in league play.  The Royals return to the court tomorrow afternoon, playing at Lynchburg at 4:00pm.  The Hornets also played Friday night, falling at Bridgewater 68-49.

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