College Women’s Basketball Final – Eastern Mennonite 70, Guilford 63

HARRISONBURG, Va. – Jonae Guest’s layup with 3:25 left in Saturday afternoon’s contest gave Eastern Mennonite University an Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) victory over Guilford College, 70-63.

The see-saw contest featured eight ties and seven lead changes, but few came in the game’s opening quarter as Eastern Mennonite (14-6, 7-5 ODAC) held on to the lead for nearly the entire period. The Royals lead grew as large as six points with 1:27 left in the first quarter before the Quakers (16-3, 10-2 ODAC) rallied with two baskets in 24 seconds to cut the lead to two. The game became tight in the second quarter as Guilford capped a 6-0 run with a Jordyn Brown basket to open the period for the first tie of the contest. Eastern Mennonite pulled to a four-point lead at the 4:42 mark of the period, but Guilford held Eastern Mennonite scoreless for the next 3:10 as the Quakers took a one-point lead. Both teams traded baskets over a 52-second span late in the quarter before Jess Rheinheimer closed the period with two free throws to claim a two-point lead at halftime.

The Royals’ lead extended to five points four times in the third quarter, but Guilford countered with a 9-0 run, lasting 2:44, to claim a four-point lead with 3:41 left in the third frame. Kayla Scott’s three-pointer with 2:28 left in the period gave the Quakers their largest lead of the contest, five points, before the Royals answered with a 6-0 run. Heaven Walters’ (Yadkinville, N.C./Starmount) jumper with three-seconds left gave the Quakers a one-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter. Three ties marked the first 6:35 of the fourth quarter, but Guilford held on to the lead until Eastern Mennonite countered with a 7-0 run over a 3:44 span to reclaim the lead for good.

Walters led all scorers with a career-high 18 points on five-of-nine shooting while pulling down seven rebounds and totaling three steals. Anais Weatherly (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor) added 12 points while Kate Clark added 10 points on four-of-seven shooting.

Jess Rheinheimer led the Royals with 16 points and six rebounds. Guest came off the bench to score 11 points and pull down six rebounds as the Royals amassed four players in double-figure scoring.

The Quakers shot 33.3 percent from the field, including a 42.1-percent effort in the third quarter. The Royals shot 46.7-percent from the field, including a fourth-quarter effort where Eastern Mennonite shot 63.6-percent from the field. The Royals shot six-for-ten from three-point range (60 percent) while the Quakers shot five-of-27 (18.5 percent) from beyond the arc. The Royals also shot 88 percent from the foul line (22-of-25) while the Quakers shot 71.4 percent from the charity stripe (10-of-14).

Guilford forced 20 Eastern Mennonite turnovers, producing 17 points. Eastern Mennonite could only force nine Guilford turnovers, producing nine points. The Quakers amassed 11 steals compared to the Royals’ three.

Eastern Mennonite out-rebounded Guilford, 42-33, but the Quakers held the advantage on the offensive glass, 13-5, while holding a 12-2 advantage on second-chance points. The Royals held a narrow advantage offensively in the paint, 28-22, while Guilford’s bench outscored Eastern Mennonite, 21-18.

The Quakers return home Wednesday, hosting Hollins University for a 7:30 p.m. ODAC contest inside Ragan-Brown Field House.