Some nights one or two plays make the difference in the outcome of a game. Other nights there isn't much you can do. And when the other team makes 16 of their 33 shots from three point range, well, that's one of those nights.
EMU's basketball men shot 48% from the floor Tuesday at Mary Washington, but still came home with an 89-73 loss. The experienced and talented Eagles were firing on all cylinders in their season opener, while the Royals slide to 1-1 on the season.
Eastern Mennonite returns to Yoder Arena this weekend for the EMU Tip-Off Invitational. The men play No. 16 New Jersey City Friday night at 7:00pm, followed by Mount Aloysius Saturday at 3:00pm. Bridgewater College plays before EMU each of the days.
In Tuesday's game, UMW attempted their first eight shots from outside the arc, making five, and led 17-6 just 4:18 into play.
Despite trailing by as many as 28, the men stuck with it and trimmed the deficit to 58-40 at halftime.
The Runnin Royals started the second half strong. Tim Jones (Forestville, Md./Central) and Sammy Thomas (Owings, Md./Northern) scored all the points in a 10-2 start, making it a 10-point game at 60-50 with 15:09 remaining.
EMU's defense continued to limit UMW, holding them to five points over the opening eight minutes of the half. However, the Royals went cold as well. Another flurry a triples quickly bumped the Eagles' margin to 76-56 with 8:38 to go and the men never threatened again.
Mary Washington shot 35-for-67 for the game, including their scorching 49% from outside. EMU was 28-for-58 for 48%, and 7-17 from three. Both teams had 33 rebounds.
Thomas finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and a pair of steals. Jones scored a team high 13 points with four assists. Jamel Howard (Leesburg, Va./Tuscarora) stroked in all three of his three point shots and scored a career high 12. DJ Hill (Woodbridge, Va./Hylton) added 10 points and four boards.
Forward Greg Rowson drained 7-of-9 threes to lead Mary Washington with 21 points. Johnny Cronin added the inside presence with 17 points and 12 rebounds. UMW's three starting guards combined for 8-for-20 shooting from outside with 13 assists.