Royals Pick Up Road Win Over Averett

Mark Burkholder dropped 14 points in Saturday's win at Averett. Photo credit - Scott Eyre
Mark Burkholder dropped 14 points in Saturday's win at Averett. Photo credit - Scott Eyre

DANVILLE, Va. – After their second half comeback fell just short against Southern Virginia on Tuesday, the EMU men's basketball team made sure a comeback wasn't needed.

The Royals took a two-point lead at the 6:39 mark of the first half and never looked back as they picked up a 69-62 win over future-ODAC foe, Averett, on Saturday.

 

Highlights

  • Tim Jones got EMU on the board, nailing a three to put the Royals up 3-2 early in the game. The two teams traded baskets for the next few minutes until the Cougars took a three-point lead under the 13:00 mark. They added a free throw to extend their lead to four, their largest lead of the game.
  • Jones made a pair of free throws and Chris Simmons made a layup to tie the game at 17. After Averett hit a three to take a 20-17 lead, EMU went on a 10-0 run, using baskets from Simmons, Jones, Mark Burkholder and Landon Swingler, to go up 27-20.
  • The Cougars went on a 7-0 run of their own to tie things late in the half but five straight points from Kobi Alexander and five from Jones gave EMU a 37-31 lead at the break.
  • For the first eight minutes of the second half, each team answered the others scoring, so the Royals lead stayed at six.
  • The Cougars were able to pull within four but Aviwe Mahlong hit a three and a free throw to keep Averett at bay.
  • An Averett three at the 7:29 mark pulled the Cougars within three, 50-53, but a Jones basket and a Burkholder dunk ended the AU momentum. The Cougars wouldn't go quietly, however, as they pulled within one late in the game. But first-year Michael Watlington came up clutch for EMU, picking up a layup and making his free throws when it mattered. Swingler added four made free throws down the stretch to seal the deal and send EMU to its first win of the season.
  • Jones picked up his first double-double of the season, scoring a game-high 18 points and dishing out 12 assists. Burkholder finished with 14 points and eight rebounds while Watlington had 10 and nine.

By the Numbers

  • 20% - After shooting just 18% from three in the loss to SVU, EMU rebounded and hit 38% of its threes against Averett, including going 7-12 in the first half.
  • 8 – EMU's bigs outscored Averett 22-14 in the paint.

Words From Coach Felix

What stood out to me the most about today's game was our ability to defend as a unit. When we were not shooting the ball particularly well in the second half, we stuck together on the defensive end and got the stops we needed. We also did a great job of making our free throws to finish out the game. I am very proud of our team effort to beat a good Averett team on the road! 

What's Next

After opening up the season with their first two games on the road, EMU will be at home on Tuesday. They'll take on Wilson College at Yoder Arena with tipoff scheduled for 7 pm. 

 

To keep up to date with everything surrounding the men's basketball program this year follow EMU on Twitter and Instagram, like EMU Athletics on Facebook or visit our website.