FREDERICKSBURG, VA --- A late first-half run gave Mary Washington the momentum they needed to get by the EMU basketball men, handing the Runnin Royals a 77-64 defeat Sunday afternoon at the Hampton Inn South Tip-Off Tournament in Fredericksburg.
The previous day, Eastern Mennonite had topped Staten Island, a national tourney participant last year, in a thrilling overtime game, and the men used that momentum early in Sunday's title game. Three of their first four baskets were dunks, as the Royals earned a slight edge. The game stayed close for most of the period, with the host Eagles leading 29-28 with 2:13 left.
EMU then committed three fouls and two turnovers over the final two minutes, as Mary Washington scored the final eight points to build a 37-28 cushion at the break.
A pair of RJ Sims (Fort Washington, Md./Friendly) three pointers got the Royals back within five points early in the second, but UMW answered with a 10-0 run to build the lead to 51-36. A Sims layup with 3:58 to go pulled the men to within 65-59, but that was as close as they could get as the Eagles pushed away for the win.
EMU struggled from the floor, hitting just 33% of their attempts including 7-34 from outside. Led by David Falk (Madison, Va./Madison), the men kept close by grabbing 20 offensive rebounds, and had a 44-38 advantage on the boards. Falk swarmed in 10 missed EMU shots, and finished with a total of 17 rebounds. He tied the career high which he set the previous day against Staten Island. The junior also scored 15 points for his first double double of the season.
Sims finished 5-of-10 from three-point range for a team high 17 points. Nic Sulc (Prince George, Va./Prince George) added six points and five rebounds off the bench.
Guard Bradley Riester led Mary Washington with 25 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Falk was named to the All-Tournament Team for his efforts against Staten Island and Mary Washington. The junior center averaged 17.0 rebounds, 12.0 points and 3.0 blocks over the two games.
Now 1-1 after the season-opening weekend, Eastern Mennonite's men head to Elizabethtown on Wednesday. Game time with the 1-1 Blue Jays is 7:00pm.