LEXINGTON, Va. – Eastern Mennonite took advantage of 58.1 percent shooting (18-31) in the second half and 32 bench points to hold off the Washington and Lee women's basketball team to post a 72-67 victory.
With the Generals leading 32-26 at the half, the Royals used a quick 15-9 run to tie the game at 41-41 with 15:13 left to play. EMU took control of the game over the next 12:01 and saw its lead grow to as many as 13 points during that span.
However, W&L picked up it's intensity and pulled within eight points (68-60) after the Generals got a quick two points from sophomore forward Shelbi Hendricks Louisville, Ky. / Kentucky Country Day) and a three pointer from first-year Cam Tyler (Stevensville, Mich. / Lakeshore) with 2:33 on the clock.
After senior forward Bianca Ygarza (Conestoga, Pa. / Penn Manor) was fouled and missed the back-end of two free-throws, junior guard Annie Gauf (Vienna, Va. / James Madison) drained her fourth three of the game to make the score 69-63 with 24 ticks on the clock.
On the Royals ensuing possession, the Generals fouled senior guard Steph Rheinheimer (Manheim, Pa. / Lancaster Mennonite) and sent her to the line for an one-and-one. Rheinheimer missed the first shot and the Generals got two more points on the board after sophomore Wesleigh Vick (Raleigh, N.C. / St. David's School) made a jumper to pull within four (69-65) with 11 seconds left to play.
EMU once against missed the front end of an one-and-one on its next possession and fouled Tyler with four seconds left on the clock. Tyler drained both shots and pulled the Generals within three points (67-70). The Royals got two free throws from junior forward Marla zumFelde (Goshen, Ind. / Bethany Christian) in the final three seconds to hold onto the victory.
With the Royals leading 18-17 with 7:34 left to play in the first half, W&L went on a 15-8 run to take a 32-26 edge going into the intermission. The Generals shot 43.5 percent from the floor (10-23), including a season-best 50.0 percent (4-8) from behind the arc.
For the game, the Royals shot an impressive 49.2 percent from the field (30-61), while the Generals were not far behind with a 47.1 percent shooting percentage (24-51). EMU held a 38-26 edge on the glass and outscored the Blue and White 50-22 in points in the paint.
Gauf led all scorers with her second consecutive 20-point performance. She finished the game with a career-high 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including going 4-of-7 from downtown. She also dished out a game-high five assists. Vick added 11 points and four rebounds, while Tyler chipped in 10 points. Sophomore guard Paige Corvino (Clarendon Hills, Ill. / Fenwick) tallied eight points and a team-high six rebounds.
Ygarza led the Royals with 16 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals. Junior forward Shakeerah Sykes (Dumfries, Va. / Forest Park) also recorded 16 points and tallied seven boards. ZumFelde was the only other Royal in double-digits, as she finished with 11 points.
The Generals will back in action on Saturday when they travel to Roanoke for a 2:00 pm contest.
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