EMU's basketball men continued their impressive start to the season with a solid 70-59 win over host Marymount Sunday afternoon to claim the championship of the Pablo Coto Tip-Off Tournament in Arlington, Va. The Runnin Royals picked up a pair of double digit victories as they improved to 3-1 on the year.
Clinging to a 38-36 lead with 14 minutes left in the game, Jerome Jones (Charles Town, W.V./Washington) canned a three pointer to get the men running. Xavier McCants (Olney, Md./Sherwood) hit his own triple five minutes later to finish off a 19-1 tear which blew open the biggest lead of the game at 57-37.
Marymount answered with a drawn out 14-0 run to get the home team back within 57-51 with 3:44 to go, but Isaiah Harris-Winn (Frederick, Md./St. Maria Goretti) hit a long ball and Maleke Jones (Charles Town, W.V./Washington) put in a layup to bump the lead back into double figures at 62-51 with 1:46 remaining.
Eastern Mennonite iced the win by sinking 8-of-9 free throws over the final 1:08.
The men had trailed by as many as 10 points after a cold start to the contest, as the Saints jumped ahead 17-7 after a Jesse Longmire three pointer at the 10:45 mark. But Jerome Jones connected on a three-point play before hitting his own three ball to trigger a strong finish. Another three pointer from the sophomore capped a 14-3 streak as the Runnin Royals took their first lead at 24-22. They led at halftime, 31-28.
Shooting numbers were tight, with EMU having a slight edge by making 23-of-62 compared to MU's 22-of-60. The Royals made the difference from long range, going 11-30 from downtown while the Saints were 5-22.
Eastern Mennonite also had a 48-36 rebounding advantage.
Harris-Winn was 4-6 from long range for a career high 20 points. He has scored in double figures every game this season. Jerome Jones was good for 14 points and eight rebounds as he was named the MVP of the Pablo Coto Tip-Off Tournament. He scored 23 points in the win over St. Joseph's on Saturday and shot 10-15 from long range over the two wins.
McCants continued to flourish off the bench, finishing with 10 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots. He was also named to the All-Tournament Team after going off for 17 points and 11 rebounds on Saturday. Maleke Jones chipped in 10 points and six assists while Sammy Thomas (Owings, Md./Northern) had a game high 10 rebounds.
Trey Johnson led Marymount with 13 points while Longmire finished with eight counters.
Eastern Mennonite gets a huge test on Tuesday, heading crosstown to take on D-I James Madison University. The two teams have not played a regular season game since 1975. Game time in JMU's Convocation Center is 7:00pm.