Lady Royals 9-0 After Beating Eagles

By Matthew Stoss, Daily News-Record

Brittany Snyder of EMU
Brittany Snyder was deadly from the floor as she nailed three of her six three pointers and scored 16 points during the recent game win over Bridgewater.

Ideally, Brittany Snyder would be Eastern Mennonite University’s featured scoring threat.

The petite shooting guard has a quick release and lots of touch, especially from 3-point range. But Snyder has a thyroid condition that can instantly sap her energy, making her a game-time decision every time the Lady Royals play – or practice – since it was diagnosed in December 2008.

"It’s really tough," said Snyder, a Riverheads High School graduate. "Some days, I come in here and I’m feeling good, and then I get going and then I just crash at practice, and it’s just no good. Sometimes, I’m hovering over the trash can."

Tuesday night was not one of those nights.

Snyder leads in scoring

Snyder – a 5-foot-6 junior who missed EMU’s Jan. 2 win over Hollins with one of her "bad days" – came off the bench to score a game-high 16 points and lead the Royals to a 68-55 win over Bridgewater College in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference women’s basketball game at Yoder Arena marred by 43 turnovers and 35 fouls.

"Brittany, who didn’t play on Saturday, came out and hit some big shots tonight," EMU coach Kevin Griffin. "This a kid who sometimes can play, sometimes she can’t. Tonight was her night and she buried some shots."

Danielle Rittenhouse of EMU
Danielle Rittenhouse during a 12/5 game against Virginia Wesleyan.

Eastern Mennonite – 9-0 overall, 5-0 in the ODAC and off to its best start ever – also got contributions from Melissa Lewis and Danielle Rittenhouse.

Lewis, a nimble senior point guard and Stuarts Draft grad, added 15 points, and Rittenhouse, a freshman guard, added 11.

Lewis also made eight of nine free throws – including 4-for-4 in the final 1:03 – to help the Royals secure the win. Snyder went 5-of-6 from the line and made three of six from 3-point range.

"We say go get to the free-throw line," Griffin said. "That gives us a chance to rest, gives us a chance to set our defense, and it gets the other team in foul trouble."

All of those things were true Tuesday.

Fouls make trouble for BC

Melissa Lewis of EMU
Melissa Lewis during the EMU Tip-Off Classic in late November 2009.

After having just three fouls in the first half, Bridgewater (3-4, 1-3) picked up 16 in the second, including one behind the 3-point line on Snyder with 10:09 to play.

Snyder, a 73-percent free-throw shooter, made all three to push the Royals’ lead back to double digits.

"We started getting out of position," said 6-1 BC freshman forward Jackie Buckley, who led the Eagles with 14 points and 11 rebounds. "In the beginning, we were playing really good defense. We were cutting them off, and in the second half, we didn’t give them that step, and they got around us and we lost position."

EMU extended its lead to a game-high 16 twice with under a minute to go after Bridgewater kept it within 10 for most of the game.

"I still have good days and bad days," said Snyder, who also is nursing a sore thumb and wrist – both of which are discolored and swollen. "But right now, I’m having more good than bad, so I’m thankful for that."

Learn more about the 2009 Lady Royals: