Harrisonburg, Va. - Guilford College was too much for the EMU men Saturday afternoon, taking a 77-66 decision in Harrisonburg. The Runnin Royals spent most of the day trailing by a few points, and couldn't get closer than four in the second before succumbing.
Eastern Mennonite took the first lead of the day on a three pointer by Owen Longacre (Telford, PA/Christopher Dock), but the Quakers, riding a seven-game winning streak, quickly jumped in front. In a developing pattern, Guilford made a key play at an important time, getting a layup in the waning seconds of the half to lead 35-29 at the break.
R.J. Sims (Fort Washington, MD/Friendly) started the second half with a three-point play, but GC's Josh Pittman (Archdale, NC/Trinity) nailed back-to-back triples to push the lead back to nine points. The Royals looked to grab momentum again by scoring the next seven points, but a quick 5-0 spurt capped by another Pittman bomb bumped the lead back to 46-39.
That triggered a 16-4 run, which gave the Quakers their biggest lead of the game at 57-43. EMU again made a comeback, though, as Dajon Daniel (Fredericksburg, VA/Mountain View) canned a trio of three pointers to lead a 12-2 surge to get the men within 59-55.
But once again, Guilford squelched the comeback attempt with a layup, steal and three pointer. The 5-0 run bumped the cushion back up to 64-55 with 6:19 to play. From that point, the Quakers slowed the game down and made 11-of-14 free throws to ice the decision.
Eastern Mennonite had a slight edge in rebounding, thanks to 16 offensive boards, and blocked seven shots, but couldn't make up the shooting disparity. GC out-shot the men 42% to 37%, but more importantly drilled 10-of-16 three pointers. Even free throws largely favored the visitors, 19-26 compared to 9-20.
Sims tallied a team high 19 points and had five rebounds, including four offensive. Andrew Thorne (Front Royal, VA/Skyline) had 14 counters and six boards. Daniel hit four triples and finished with 13 points.
David Falk (Madison, VA/Madison) led EMU with nine rebounds and three blocks. Longacre added eight rebounds.
Guilford's Pittman finished 5-for-6 from long range and had a game high 21 points. Matt McCarthy (Rockville, MD/Good Counsel) had 15 points and five steals.
The loss snaps the Royals' three game winning streak and drops their record to 10-5 overall and 3-3 in the ODAC. Next up is an even tougher task, as EMU plays at Virginia Wesleyan on Tuesday. The Marlins just handed Randolph College their first loss of the season and now top the ODAC with a 6-0 mark.