Coming off of Wednesday's exciting win at Guilford, the EMU women came out flat at Virginia Wesleyan and ended up on the short end of a 66-58 decision.
The Royals were cold from the start and couldn't stop VWC's Rachael Miller. The Marlins' senior scored their first 11 points, pushing the home team to an 11-5 lead. Her teammates took over from there, as Virginia Wesleyan ran to a 35-13 lead just 13 minutes into the game.
Trailing 38-18 at halftime, Eastern Mennonite looked like a different team in the second. The women continued to chip into the deficit with short runs, finally getting within four points when Bianca Ygarza (Conestoga, PA/Penn Manor) hit a jumper to make it 60-56 with 1:46 left to play.
The Marlins converted a crucial three-point play on their next possession, bumping their lead back up to seven. Ygarza made another bucket for EMU with 57 seconds to go, but VWC hit enough free throws down the stretch to hold off the Royals.
EMU shot just 25% in the first half and finished with a 35% clip. Virginia Wesleyan also shot 35% from the floor, but had a big edge by hitting 10-of-30 three pointers. The up-tempo Royals never got into their flow, as they forced only 12 turnovers in the loss.
Bianca Ygarza finished with 14 points and six rebounds. Steph Rheinheimer (Manheim, PA/Lancaster Mennonite) canned all three of EMU's triples and tallied 10 points. Kala Yoders (Myerstown, PA/Eastern Lebanon County) had nine points and nine boards.
Raiven Patterson (Pulaski, VA/Pulaski County) had seven points and three steals off the bench while Alicia Ygarza (Conestoga, PA/Penn Manor) added six scores.
The loss drops the Royals to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Their tough schedule continues next week, as the women host No. 22 Mary Washington Tuesday at 6:00pm in Yoder Arena.