Emory Men's Basketball Edged By No. 2 Washington University
(Feb. 13) - The Emory University men's
basketball nearly pulled off an amazing comeback Friday evening but
fell short in its attempt to upend No. 2-ranked Washington
University in a game played at the Woodruff PE Center. Wash
U., won its 11th straight game and raised its overall record to
20-1, 10-0 in the University Athletic Association following its
71-68 squeaker against Emory which fell to 6-15 overall, 1-9 in the
Emory trailed by a 15-point margin with 8:25 left in the game, and still faced a 10-point deficit with less than a minute remaining before staging a furious rally. A pair of free throws by freshman Austin Claunch with 49 ticks on the clock cut the gap to eight points before a bucket by Claunch cut the Bears' edge to 69-63 with 37 seconds left. Following a Wash U., turnover, junior Daniel Curtin calmly sank three free throws to draw the Eagles to within 69-66 with 19 seconds remaining. Following a Bears' free throw, Curtin drove to the hoop and scored to keep the Eagles alive and down by just two points with 11 seconds left. Aaron Thompson increased the visitor's lead to three points after a make from the charity stripe but misfired on his second attempt. Emory grabbed the rebound with four seconds left but Tyler Nading stepped in and stole the outlet pass to seal the game for the Bears.
Junior Chad Hixon and sophomore Julien Williams tied for Emory team scoring honors with 12 points apiece. It marked Hixon's 12th effort this season of double-digit production and sixth in his last seven outings. Claunch added nine points along with three assists and two steals. Freshman Corey Spraggins topped all Eagles with six boards.
Nading totaled game highs with 20 points and nine boards to spark the Bears' attack. Sean Wallis contributed 13 points and six assists while Aaron Thompson and Zach Kelley rounded out Wash U's double-figure scorers with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
In a closely played first half that saw each club hold a five-point point lead at one point in the stanza, the teams battled to a 34-34 draw heading into intermission. Hixon scored eight points during the stanza and helped Emory shoot 47.6 percent (10-of-21) compared to the Bears' mark of 38.5 percent (10-of-26). With the scored knotted at 40-40, Wash U. used a 16-4 burst to take a 56-44 lead with 12:34 on the clock. The Bears eventually enjoyed its biggest lead of the game when it held a 63-48 cushion. Facing a 65-51 uphill climb with 7:47 on the clock, the Eagles held the visitors scoreless for over five minutes while going on an 8-0 spurt that was capped when Williams buried a three pointer to cut the margin to six points, 65-59 with 3:36 left. However, Wash U. scored the next four points to put the lead back to 10 points and set the stage for Emory's final charge.
The Bears held a slight edge in field goal shooting, 46.3 percent to 46.0 percent and converted eight treys to Emory's four.
Emory returns to action on Sunday when it entertains the University of Chicago in a noon tip.