The Emory men’s basketball team continued their undefeated start to the season, winning both games of their weekend doubleheader. On Nov. 30, the Eagles scored a program-record 124 points in a win against the Pfeiffer University (N.C.) Falcons in the Maryville College Thanksgiving Classic. The Eagles then crushed the Maryville College (Tenn.) Scots 95-82 on Dec. 1.
The Eagles’ 124 points beat the previous school record of 116 points, which the team scored in two games last season against Trinity University (Texas) on Dec. 1, 2018, and Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) on Jan. 1, 2019. Still, the Saturday matchup was no easy victory.
The first half started off as a back-and-forth affair, as both teams fought aggressively for rebounds and loose balls. Within the first three minutes, junior forward Lawrence Rowley made six of the Eagles’ 10 points. Rowley went on to score 23 points during the game.
Despite the first half’s close score, the Eagles never trailed by more than 10 points. They tied the score after faltering eight different times. It wasn’t until junior guard Romin Williams made a three-pointer with three minutes left in the first half that the Eagles started to gain momentum.
Thanks to Williams’ shot, the Eagles went on a run and outscored the Falcons by four points. During these three minutes, Williams recorded nine points and two assists. The Eagles ended the half ahead at 62-57.
The Falcons started the second half slowly, giving the Eagles an edge. Junior guard Matthew Schner led the team, scoring seven points in the first three minutes of the half.
With 15 minutes left in the game, the Eagles were up 77-71. But in the following five minutes, the Falcons went on a 23-16 run and found themselves up 94-93.
Sophomore forward Mason Johnson subbed in with 16 minutes left and immediately drained a jumper. Moments later Johnson blocked a shot, giving the Eagles the momentum needed to hold onto the lead. In the last 10 minutes, the Eagles outscored the Falcons 27-18, sealing the 124-112 victory.
Schner, Williams and Rowley each reached over 20 points. Schner, the leading scorer with 27 points, discussed how the team was able to gain control of the game.
“We were definitely able to pull away just from being consistent with what we did on offense, and to string a couple of stops together defensively to stretch the lead a little bit,” Schner said.
Following their record-breaking game on Saturday, the Eagles took on the tournament host Maryville College. Junior forward Matt Davet scored all seven points during the team’s 7-2 opening run. Davet finished the first half with 19 points and seven rebounds, including five three-pointers.
The Scots kept the score close until the end of the half and the teams went to the locker rooms tied at 41-41 thanks to three three-pointers by Maryville sophomore guard Kevin Chong in the final five minutes of the first half. Chong finished the half with 13 points and five rebounds off the bench.
Emory found themselves leading early in the second half. The team showed great ball movement and the points were well distributed. They quickly went up 58-51 in the first five minutes of the half. Chong responded with two more three-pointers in less than 40 seconds courtesy of Maryville senior guard Joshua Brooks. The Eagles responded by scoring 11 points in less than two minutes to go up 71-62 and ultimately won 95-82.
Davet finished with a career-high 29 points and nine rebounds, one rebound shy of a double-double. Rowley, Williams and Schner each finished with 15 or more points in the victory. The squad shot 95 percent from the free throw line as well. Maryville’s high scorer was Chong, who finished with 21 points.
Schner also added how the starters were able to lead the team a victory in a game on short rest.
“Our veteran guys and our starters are comfortable carrying a lot of that load, especially in a back-to-back scenario,” Schner said. “It’s similar to an NCAA tournament weekend … It’s something where we’re going to rely on our veteran guys in that situation.”
The Eagles took a brief road trip to LaGrange College (Ga.) for a game against the Panthers on Dec. 4, and the Eagles starters lifted the team to victory. Emory started the game on a 12-0 run, but the Panthers never stopped fighting and were behind by only two points at halftime.
The Eagles slowly separated from LaGrange in the second half en route to a 98-89 victory. The five starters scored all but four of the Eagles’ points. Schner put up another stellar stat line of 30 points and 12 rebounds. Williams put up 24 points and Rowley added 20 points and 10 rebounds of his own.
The Eagles will play host to Piedmont College (Ga.) on Dec. 7 at 4 p.m.