Royals Lose Lead Late In Upset Loss At W&L, 93-92

There are no nights off in the ODAC, and Eastern Mennonite was reminded of that Wednesday in Lexington. The Runnin Royals led most of the game, but Washington & Lee turned the tables with 2:39 remaining and held off the men in a 93-92 upset. Getting the ball back with under seven seconds to play, Eastern Mennonite had a chance to win but couldn't get off a shot before the buzzer.

EMU again struggled from long range, but still managed to take an early lead away from the home team and build it to as many as eight points in the second half.

The Generals took over from the free throw line, however, and then hit enough tosses to cling to the win. Jason Cimino single-handedly put W&L in front with a pair of free throws on back-to-back possessions, making the score 85-83 with 2:39 to play.

After each team missed shots and then scored with a single free throw, the final minute and change saw total of 10 possessions and 11 free throw attempts. The Generals got a three-point play from J.D. Ey to push the edge to 89-84 with 1:07 to play.

EMU came back with a pair of free throws from Todd Phillips (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) with :55 remaining, but W&L got a quick layup just four seconds later.

After a pair of offensive rebounds, D.J. Hinson (Newport News, Va./Menchville) threw down a dunk to trim the lead to 91-88 with 21 seconds remaining.

Fouled before the ball came back in, Washington & Lee got one of two free throws to push the cushion back to four. George Johnson (Richmond, Va./Miller School) then missed a three pointer but Andrew Thorne (Front Royal, Va./Skyline) got an offensive putback to cut the lead to 92-90 with 15 seconds left.

A quick foul put the home team back on the stripe, and Jeremy Adkins hit just one of two for the second straight time, keeping it a one possession game with 13 to go.

But the Generals fouled Phillips with 9.6 ticks left. The senior calmly sunk both tosses, making it 93-92.

Kyle Bond was sent to the line with less than seven seconds left, and the General missed both attempts giving EMU the chance to win. A wild pass to Hinson, however, forced a desperation heave after the buzzer as EMU took the disappointing loss.

The Runnin Royals forced 23 turnovers, but struggled to find a rhythm from three-point range, hitting just 5-of-19 attempts. The men finished 48% from the floor and 23-34 from the free throw line. W&L shot 55% and hit 26-of-39 free throws.

Phillips led all scorers with 26 points, including a 10-14 performance from the charity stripe. Johnson had 14 as he hit four triples.

Hinson finished with 12 and four assists while Thorne had 11 and five rebounds. Eli Crawford (Staunton, Va./R.E. Lee) added 10 points, seven rebounds and three steals.

Cimino had a game high 10 assists for the Generals who also had five players score in double figures. Ey finished with a career high 21 points on 9-for-11 shooting.

The loss drops No. 10 Eastern Mennonite to 9-2 overall and 2-2 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Washington & Lee goes to 10-2 and 3-1.

The Royals step back out of conference play this weekend at the Southern Virginia Classic in Buena Vista. EMU takes on Penn State-Beaver Friday at 6:00pm and then Berkeley (NJ) Saturday at 2:00pm.