Shakeerah Sykes shot 7-for-11 from the floor for 14 points and led all players with 3 steals. (photo by Wayne Gehman)

Balanced scoring attack pushes EMU women by Wasps

The basketball women took over Saturday’s game at Emory & Henry early and ran away with a 70-50 decision, winning their sixth straight and taking over sole possession of first place in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). Four Royals scored in double figures as Eastern Mennonite improved to 15-4 overall and 9-1 in the conference.

Coupled with Lynchburg’s loss at Randolph-Macon, EMU’s women now hold a one-lead over the Hornets with six conference games remaining. The Royals host LC to close the regular season on Feb. 22.

The Royals traded leads with Emory & Henry for the first few minutes until a quick 7-0 run gave the women an 18-12 advantage. They wouldn’t trail again. Three-point shooting helped EMU open up a 13-point lead during the half. They led 35-25 at the break.

The Wasps chipped to within four points early in the second. Eastern Mennonite settled down and put the lead back around 10 points, and then iced the win by holding EHC scoreless for the final 3:59 of game.

The women forced their hosts into 18 turnovers while only committing 11 themselves. The Royals also out-shot EHC 44 percent-to-38 percent and hit six triples.

Four EMU players scored in double figures headed by Bianca Ygarza (Conestoga, Pa./Penn Manor). The senior had 17 points, six rebounds and four assists. Steph Rheinheimer (Manheim, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) had her best game as she returns to form from an early-season sprained ankle, going for 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Shakeerah Sykes (Dumfries, Va./Forest Park) had 14 points and a game high three steals. Jess Rheinheimer (Manheim, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) added 10 counters.

Kristie Langley was the lone Wasp in double figures as she scored 11.

The Royals play two on the road in the coming week, starting at Washington and Lee on Tuesday. Game time in Lexington is 7 p.m.