EMORY, Va. – The No. 24 Roanoke College Men's Basketball Team (14-2, 6-1 ODAC) used three second-half runs to come out on top of Emory & Henry College (9-7, 3-4 ODAC) by a 98-90 score Wednesday evening at the John Rutledge King Center. Roanoke, which is ranked nationally by D3hoops.com, remains tied atop the Old Dominion Athletic Conference standings.
The two teams battled for the opening 20 minutes of the game through eight ties and eight lead changes for a 42-41 Emory & Henry lead at the break. The Wasps had the largest lead of the period, going up by four on four different occasions while the Maroons' biggest advantage was two points. Freshman forward Aaron Ferguson (Princeton, W.Va.) scored 12 of his team high 21 in the half, going six-for-seven from the field, to lead E&H.
Roanoke's offense began to click to start the second frame, as they reeled off seven-straight points over a 97-second span to lead 51-45. The Wasps trimmed the deficit to one but a 15-6 run by the Maroons put them up by double digits (68-58 with 9:48 remaining) for the first time in the game. E&H stormed back, scoring 10 of the next 11 points to get back to a one-point game but was unable to regain the lead. An 8-0 run in the final five minutes put RC back up by 10 with 3:13 to play.
Emory & Henry hit a trio of three-pointers in the final minute but would get no closer than six points. Roanoke went 12-for-12 from the free throw line in the last two minutes of play to exit with their national ranking intact and a 98-90 victory.
Joey Miller led the Maroons with 24 points, going 11-for-12 from the free throw line and adding six rebounds. John Fitchett had 17 points and four boards while John Caldwell and Carter Wright added 14 and 11 points, respectively. Roanoke scored 36 points at the free throw line, converting 73.5 percent of their 49 attempts. RC also held a 48-36 advantage on points in the paint and a 24-11 lead on points off turnovers.
Ferguson paced the Wasps with 21 points on nine-for-10 shooting for the game to tie his best scoring outing as a collegian. He added 11 rebounds to complete the double-double and tacked on two assists and two blocks as well. Junior guard Ryan Gravely (Austinville, Va.) had 13 points, five assists and three boards while junior guard Myles Turner (Richmond, Va.) tacked on 12 points and eight rebounds, cashing in on a trio of three's. Senior guard Kevin Anzenberger (Concord, N.C.) and freshman guard Clif Conley (Galax, Va.) chipped in eight points each off the bench.
As a team, the Wasps shot 42.9 percent (33-for-77) from the field and hit 10 three-pointers. E&H held a 48-39 rebounding advantage which they translated into a 25-15 lead on second-chance points. Turnovers and fouls proved to be the Achilles' heel in the contest for Emory & Henry as they trailed Roanoke by 22 points at the free throw line.
Emory & Henry is scheduled to host Randolph College on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The game is the first of a doubleheader with the Wasps' women's team. The forecast of winter weather may put the games on hold, however and an announcement will be made on GoWasps.com as soon as any changes are decided.
-photo courtesy of Caleb Johnston, E&H '15