February 11, 2012

Emory & Henry Men’s Basketball Escapes With 81-80 Overtime Victory Against Eastern Mennonite

EMORY, Va. – The Emory & Henry College Men's Basketball Team (11-12, 5-9 ODAC) picked up a pivotal Old Dominion Athletic Conference win Saturday afternoon over Eastern Mennonite University (9-14, 4-10 ODAC). The Wasps defeated the Royals 81-80 in overtime to move into a tie for seventh place in the league standings.

The contest also served as senior day as Mike Owens (Quinton, Va.) and Kyle Sensabaugh (Columbus, Ohio) were recognized as the completion of their playing careers for E&H is drawing near.

The Wasps and Royals battled back and forth to a 16-15 game at the 13:25 mark in the first half. A 15-2 run which covered 9:52 gave Emory & Henry a 31-17 advantage. EMU battled back late in the first half, to close the gap to one (35-34 at 1:31) on a three-pointer by Adam Burroughs, but E&H scored seven of the final nine points of the period to go into the break with a 42-36 lead.

Eastern Mennonite came out of the locker room and started firing on all cylinders, putting together a 16-4 run over the first eight minutes of the second half for its largest advantage of the game at 52-46. Emory & Henry then responded with a 15-2 scoring spurt that covered 4:30 to take a 61-54 lead.

Down seven with 3:32 remaining in regulation, the Royals chipped away at the Wasps to tie the contest at 72 with 30 seconds on the clock. E&H junior guard Malcolm Green (Marshville, N.C.) and EMU's R.J. Sims each missed baskets in the last five seconds that would have put their team on top.

It looked as if Eastern Mennonite was going to run away with the contest in the extra period, scoring six straight points to open up a 78-72 lead with 3:13 left, but the Royals did nothing but stir up a Wasp's nest. Emory & Henry came back with seven straight points of its own to take a 79-78 lead with under a minute remaining.  Two free throws put EMU up 80-79, with 26 seconds left.

Green then put E&H on his back like he did on Wednesday in the next possession. After the original play broke down, Green drove to the basket and hit a reverse layup with just 9.7 ticks left on the clock. Eastern Mennonite went the length of the floor and missed two point-blank shots in the final seconds and Emory & Henry came away with their 11th win of the season and first overtime victory in three tries this year.

Green led the Wasps with 17 points on the day and added seven rebounds and two assists while junior forward Armando Murrell (Brooklyn, N.Y.) went 7-for-10 from the field for 15 points and grabbed 12 boards to complete the double-double.

Sophomore forward Jorel Terrell (Port Saint Lucie, Fla.) tallied 12 points on the day, including some key shots down the stretch that kept the Wasps in the contest, while sophomore forward Tyler Mullins (Hazard, Ky.) had 10 points of his own.

As a team, Emory & Henry shot 52.5 percent (31-for-59) from the floor and held a 50-31 rebounding advantage. However, the Wasps were forced into 32 turnovers and had another dismal day at the free throw line, making just 15-of-29 (51.7 percent) of their attempts.

Eastern Mennonite placed five scorers in double figures led by James Williams with 17 points on four-for-eight from the field and nine-of-10 from the free throw line. Burrows, Owen Longacre, Andrew Thorne and Corey Sheppard each tallied 10 points on the day for the Royals as Longacre pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.

Emory & Henry will remain at home for its final regular season contest of the year at Bob Johnson Court on Wednesday as Bridgewater College comes to town. Tipoff for the ODAC contest is set for 7:00 p.m.

---E&H---