Harrisonburg, Va. - A frustrating night came to an equally frustrating end, as Elizabethtown erased EMU's seven-point lead to steal a 54-49 decision from the Royals in Yoder Arena.
After shooting a frigid 23% from the floor in the first half, Eastern Mennonite's women surged to a 42-35 lead on a Steph Rheinheimer (Manheim, PA/Lancaster Mennonite) three pointer with 7:49 to play. But the visiting Blue Jays scored seven points in less than a minute to tie the score, then rode the momentum to a decisive 19-7 run to close the game.
E-town led 49-44 before the Royals were forced to foul with 1:11 remaining. The Blue Jays left the door open by only making 3-of-9 charity tosses over the final 1:11, but they also grabbed two critical offensive rebounds during the stretch.
Alisa Brown (Dumfries, VA/Forest Park) hit a jumper to get the women within 50-46 with 37 seconds to go, but that would be as close as the Royals would get.
While shooting percentages were close at 35% for Elizabethtown and 31% for EMU, a key difference came in rebounding, where the Blue Jays had a 49-45 edge, including the key 17-13 advantage in offensive boards. For the Royals, it was a season-low shooting percentage leading to a season-low scoring output.
Junior Bianca Ygarza (Conestoga, PA/Penn Manor) was the lone Royal in double figures in scoring, as she finished with a double double of 10 points and 11 rebounds. Jess Rheinheimer (Manheim, PA/Lancaster Mennonite) charted eight points and nine rebounds.
The women did have a season high in blocked shots with seven. Kala Yoders (Myerstown, PA/Eastern Lebanon County) had three, with Ygarza and Jess Rheinheimer each swatting two shots.
The non-conference loss drops Eastern Mennonite to 7-5 overall and ends a three-game winning streak. The women return to conference play for the rest of the season, starting with a game against Washington and Lee on Wednesday. EMU hosts the Generals in an ODAC doubleheader in Harrisonburg, with the women playing at 6:00pm followed by the men at 8:00pm.