In the marquee matchup of the ODAC's two highest-scoring teams, it was EMU's defense which won the day. The Royals held the Randolph-Macon women to 36% shooting and a season low point total in an 82-63 win in Harrisonburg.
The Eastern Mennonite women are now on a season-best five-game winning streak and improve to 14-4 overall. They also maintain their tie with Lynchburg atop the ODAC at 8-1. R-MC slips to 13-5 and 6-3 in the ODAC. The Yellow Jackets entered the game as the No. 3 team in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 91.9 points an outing.
Becky Barrett (Damascus, Md./Damascus) opened the night with an offensive rebound and putback, and EMU worked to a 5-0 lead. It took the Yellow Jackets 3:16 to score and they never seemed to recover. The Royals controlled play and methodically pushed the lead to 16-8. Riding their momentum, the women had the cushion all the way up to 35-19 with 4:59 left in the half.
Eastern Mennonite led 44-30 at the intermission, and then scored the first six points of the second to push the edge to 20 points. The Yellow Jackets cut the lead to 10 points for a few possessions, but the Royals wouldn't let them any closer, scoring the last seven points to secure the final margin.
Although the women had a small advantage in most statistical categories, the biggest difference was simple – shooting percentage. EMU connected on 49% of their attempts while Randolph-Macon struggled to a 36% finish, their third-lowest total of the year. The Yellow Jackets, who were averaging 91.9 points per game, were held to a season-low 63, nearly 29 points below their average.
Jess Rheinheimer (Manheim, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) hit 9-of-12 shots for a new career high of 23 points. The sophomore is averaging 19.0 points over her last three games and has broken her career best scoring total in back-to-back contests. Bianca Ygarza (Conestoga, Pa./Penn Manor) bounced back with her first double double of the year, charting 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Along with a strong defensive game, Keyla Baltimore (Bristow, Va./Brentsville District) was good for five assists and five rebounds. Barrett finished with eight points and seven boards, while Shakeerah Sykes (Dumfries, Va./Forest Park) added 10 points and seven caroms.
Randolph-Macon's leading scorer, Taylor Huber, was limited to 14 points on 5-22 shooting. Reigning ODAC Player of the Week Katie Anderson had just four points and four rebounds.
The Royals begin a three-game road swing this weekend, playing at Emory & Henry Saturday afternoon.