Pancione Has Career Night As Men Get First Win At BC Since 1990

Records and streaks are meant to be broken. For this group of Runnin Royals, breaking them has become old hat. Eastern Mennonite controlled rival Bridgewater 81-64 Wednesday night, getting its first win at Nininger Hall since the 1990 season and two players also etched their names in the school record books.

The game turned out to be less about the game than the moment as the Royals took over the lead for good with 12:19 remaining in the first half. A 7-0 run late in the first pushed the lead into double figures where it stayed much of the rest of the night.

EMU led 41-29 at halftime. Eli Crawford (Staunton, Va./R.E. Lee) broke BC's back when he drilled a three pointer to make the score 58-43 with 11:56 to go. The Eagles never got closer than 10 the rest of the way as Eastern Mennonite cruised to the 17-point win.

Orie Pancione (Augusta, WV/Hampshire) had the hot hand all night. EMU's big man hit all seven of his shots in the first half and finished with a career high 22 points. He was 10-11 from the floor for 90.9% and broke the EMU record for field goal percentage in a game.

While the Eagles did a good job defensively on reigning ODAC Player of the Week Todd Phillips (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro), the wing found other ways to influence the game. He finished with five steals and game highs of four assists and three blocked shots. His five steals also pushed him into the top spot for career steals at EMU with 176. Tim Crawford, who played from 1977-81, had been the record holder with 174.

Eli Crawford finished with a double double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and four steals. It was his third game with double digit rebounds this year and second time in the past five games with a double double.

George Johnson (Richmond, Va./Miller School) provided his deadly outside shooting, hitting four triples and finishing with 18 points.

The Royals had 18 steals and forced 31 Bridgewater turnovers. EMU shot 49% in the win, although the men were just 5-19 from long range and 14-28 from the free throw line. Bridgewater was 44% from the floor.

It was also Eastern Mennonite's first win at BC's Ninginer Hall since a 60-59 win on Dec. 1, 1990. Current Head Coach Kirby Dean was a sophomore at EMU that year. The Royals have also won four straight now against their rivals.

The win pushes the No. 16 Runnin Royals to 17-4 overall and 8-4 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. The Eagles fall to 6-16 and 2-11. Next up for EMU is a home date with Emory & Henry this Saturday afternoon at 2:00pm.