HARRISONBURG, VA. -- The Washington and Lee men's basketball team built a nine-point lead by halftime, then survived a spirited second-half rally in pulling out a 72-65 win over Eastern Mennonite at Yoder Arena on Wednesday evening.
The Generals (8-5, 2-3 ODAC) opened up the game on a 12-4 scoring run over the first 5:18, including a pair of three-pointers by first-year guard Javon McDonald (Schaumburg, Ill./Schaumburg). W&L extended its lead to 11 points (20-9) on a dunk by junior forward J.D. Ey (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) with 9:57 on the clock.
EMU (5-7, 1-3 ODAC) then rattled off a 19-8 scoring run to inch to within a point at 28-27 with 4:00 showing on the clock. However, W&L righted itself and ended the half on another 12-4 scoring run to take a 40-31 lead at the break.
The Generals shot 15-of-27 from the floor in the opening 20:00 minutes and held a 20-14 edge on the boards.
In the second period, W&L cooled off to 41.7 percent shooting (10-24) and committed 12 turnovers as EMU came all the way back to tie the game at 57-57 with 6:15 to play. A pair of free throws by McDonald and a layup and free throw by sophomore forward Larry Whitaker (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) pushed the Generals back out to a five-point advantage (62-57) with 3:49 showing on the clock.
Dajon Daniel then knocked down a pair of triples sandwiched around another McDonald free throw to make it a one-point game (66-65) at the 1:34 mark, but EMU missed its final five shots from the field as W&L came away with the seven-point win.
Ey led the Generals with his league-leading fifth double-double for the season, as he scored a game-high 19 points to go with 10 rebounds. McDonald finished with 17 points and sophomore center Drew Kimberly (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Ludlowe) added 11 points and eight rebounds.
Andrew Thorne led EMU with 13 points and nine boards. Daniel added 11 points and James Williams chipped in 10 points off the bench. R.J. Sims contributed seven points and six rebounds.
The Generals return to action on Jan. 11, when they travel to Roanoke for a 7:00 pm contest.