Last Second Shot Rims Out as Hornets Fall in Quarterfinals 65-62

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For immediate release – 2/26/2015 - #283
Last Second Shot Rims Out as Hornets Fall in Quarterfinals 65-62

SALEM, VA-The No. 5-seeded Lynchburg College men's basketball team led throughout the first half, but due to several No. 4 Eastern Mennonite University runs in the second half, fell to the Royals 65-62 in Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) quarterfinal action.

The Hornets led at the halftime break 34-29 behind a perimeter defense that held the Royals to 2-of-17 shooting from deep (11.8%). Despite the poor outside shooting, Eastern Mennonite managed to corral some second chance opportunities behind David Falk's first-half double-double of 10 points and 10 boards.

EMU fought back in the early minutes of the second half to tie up the contest, something that would last well into the final period of play. Falk opened the final twenty with a contested layup and following an empty possession by both squads, Woody Forbush knocked down a three from the corner to tie it at 34.

Alex Graves swung the momentum back to the Hornets with a layup with 16 minutes to play before Forbush connected to tie it up on an assist from James Williams. Graves came back down the floor, garnering the lead for his team once again before EMU tied it again seconds later.

Lynchburg was forced to sit Graves at the 15:30 mark when he collected his fourth personal foul. The Hornets withstood the flurry of Royal scoring, cutting the deficit to 43-42 on an Austen Arnold layup at 11:39. Graves reentered the contest 20 seconds later and immediately provided a mental boost to LC. Arnold and Graves scored to go up 46-43.

The Hornets switched to a zone to erase the quickness EMU had off the dribble, as well as to protect those members in red dealing with foul trouble. Zack Burnett, Arnold, Daniel Rowe and Omar Kemp all had three fouls at the 10 minute mark to join Graves.

"I thought our guys did a pretty good job," Lynchburg head coach Hilliary Scott said. "We were up with three minutes to go and had knocked down a couple shots. We made some stops on the defensive end and really had a chance there."

EMU trailed 60-57 following a Lyndon White layup, but made use of its athleticism to turn it into a dribble-penetration game, resulting in a 7-0 run and 64-60 EMU lead with 1:52 left. The final play of the run, a traditional three-point play by Marcel Crump forced Lynchburg to go without Graves as he collected his fifth foul.

The Hornets were not finished as Burnett curled around a screen for a layup with 37 seconds left. Lynchburg called a timeout to set its defensive strategy, resulting in Sammy Hooper fouling Falk, one of the lower percentage free throw shooters for the Royals.

Falk made the first, but missed the second to give Lynchburg an opportunity, but a three with 26 seconds left fell just short. The Hornets fouled Yates following the miss, who missed both attempts to keep it a one possession game.

Rionn Pradia entered with four seconds left to add an extra shooter for the Hornets. After good EMU defense cut off the first two options, Pradia ended up with the inbounds pass. His shot bounced on the rim twice before falling mere inches away from overtime.

EMU (17-9) were led in scoring by Yates who had 19 points while Falk finished with 17 points and 17 rebounds. Crump ended the day with 13 points and seven caroms as James Williams dished out five assists.

Burnett led Lynchburg (17-10) with 15 points and nine rebounds while Arnold added 10 points and eight boards. Graves had 12 points and five rebounds as White contributed seven points, five rebounds and four assists. The semifinal loss concludes the season for the Hornets.