January 22, 2014

EMU Stymies W&L Men's Basketball, 80-74

LEXINGTON, Va. — Despite coming back from down double-digits twice on Wednesday, the Washington and Lee men's basketball team lost at home to Eastern Mennonite, 80-74.

The Royals (9-7, 4-3 ODAC) took a 21-10 lead in the first eight minutes of the opening half, capped on a triple by senior wing RJ Sims (Fort Washington, Md./Friendly). The Generals (5-11, 2-5 ODAC) scored eight on the next nine points (22-18), including back-to-back three-pointers by junior guard Clay McLean (Charlotte, N.C./Davidson Day).

EMU pushed the advantage back to seven, 30-23, with 7:12 remaining in the half, but W&L ripped off eight straight points over the next three minutes to take the lead, 31-30. The Blue and White stretched the gap to four, 39-35, heading into intermission.

The Royals swung the momentum back in their favor to start the second half, and retook the lead, 45-43, on a couple of free throws by Sims at the 18:19 mark. EMU eventually extended the margin to 12 (60-58) on a layup by first-year guard EJ Baltimore (Bristow, Va./Patriot) with 11:42 remaining in the contest.

W&L notched the next 12 points with five different players registering a basket. Sophomore guard Darren Douglas' (Elmsford, N.Y./Rye Country Day) three with 7:49 remaining tied the game at 60-60. Eastern Mennonite slowly worked the lead back in its favor, and a layup by junior center David Falk (Madison, Va./Madison) with 3:53 on the clock pushed it to eight, 73-65.

The Generals scored five consecutive points, all on free throws, to cut the margin to three, 73-70, with 2:05 left in the game. Following a turnover by EMU, Douglas missed a three, which would have tied the game. W&L then forced a missed jumper by Sims with 1:11 remaining. The Blue and White turned the ball over on its next two possessions and the Royals held on for the 80-74 victory.

Sophomore forward Andrew Franz (Charlotte, N.C./Ravenscroft) led the Generals with 21 points, eight rebounds and three assists. He finished the game 7-of-14 from the field and 2-of-5 from beyond the arc. Senior center Drew Kimberly (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Ludlowe) notched 17 points and five rebounds, and McLean added 14 points off the bench.

Sims and junior wing Marcel Crump (Richmond, Va./Highland Springs) led all scorers with 23 points. Falk recorded a double-double on 10 points and 13 rebounds. He also had three blocks.

The Royals registered 18 fast break points compared to just four for W&L. EMU also shot 52.7 percent (29-55) from the field, while the Blue and White finished 25-of-56 (44.6 percent).

The Generals travel to 16th-ranked Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday for a 2:00 pm game.

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