Royals romp over Southern Virginia

 
Staff Report
EMU sports: www.emu.edu

On Dec. 12, Southern Virginia handed the Runnin Royals their first loss of the 2009-2010 season, 92-79 in Buena Vista. Thursday night, Eastern Mennonite paid back the Knights in Harrisonburg by racing to a 26-point halftime lead en route to an 89-68 victory.

The teams quickly started the game like a track meet, with both squads pushing up and down the floor. After a flurry of missed shots, EMU etched out an eight-point lead at 13-5. Southern Virginia came right back to get within one at 15-14 before the Royals blew it open.

With 7:17 left in the half and a 29-25 lead, the Runnin Royals clamped on the defense. EMU didn’t allow another field goal in the half and exploded with a 24-3 run to take a comfy 53-27 cushion into the break. George Johnson (Richmond, Va./Miller School) capped the streak with a three-pointer, his fourth of the half.

The men shot a dazzling 55 percent in the first period, including 7-12 from three-point range. Johnson had 14 at the break and Todd Phillips (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) had 14 and seven rebounds.

Eastern Mennonite played well enough in the final 20 minutes to keep the lead in the twenties. Southern Virginia never threatened as the Royals cruised out with the 21-point win.

The men finished the game with a 48 percent shooting clip, hitting 32 of 67 shots. EMU was also 9-22 from long range and 16-25 from the charity stripe. Southern Virginia struggled to keep pace with the Royals and shot just 32 percent including 3-of-21 from threepoint range. The Knights made only 17 of 28 free throws.

Phillips finished with a double-double, with 21 points and 10 rebounds. The junior also had three blocked shots and two steals. Eli Crawford (Staunton, Va./R.E. Lee) also made the mark with 14 and 10, along with four assists and two steals.

Johnson strolled in with 16. Orie Pancione (Augusta, WV/Hampshire) hit six of his eight shots and finished with 12 points.

Ade Swann (Queens, NY) led the Knights with 17 points.

Eastern Mennonite moves to 15-2 with the non-conference win. The Royals are also 8-1 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. The Knights slip to 12-6 with the loss.

EMU returns to ODAC play Saturday afternoon with a road date at Hampden-Sydney.

 

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