Defensive Stand Lifts Men's Basketball to Win over EMU

Scott Bolen (MVP), Director of Athletics Tom Dickman and Luke Casey (all-tournament)
Scott Bolen (MVP), Director of Athletics Tom Dickman and Luke Casey (all-tournament)

FREDERICK, Md. - The Hood College men's basketball team held Eastern Mennonite scoreless over the final 4:12 of the game in a 74-62 win on the second day of the Rotary of Frederick Holiday Classic.

Scott Bolen was named the tournament's most valuable player, while Luke Casey joined him on the all-tournament team. Bolen had 12 points and seven rebounds on Sunday, while Casey netted a double-double with 10 points and a tournament-record 13 rebounds.

The win propelled Hood to 10-1 on the year, marking the fastest that the Blazers have ever reached 10 wins in a season.

With the score tied a 62-62, Jared Ruiz hit back-to-back threes to start a 12-0 run down the stretch. After he sank a free throw for his seventh straight point with 2:16 to go, Bolen scored the final five points of the game.

Hood outrebounded the Royals 45-23, including 25-8 in the first half. The Blazers hit 14 of 24 field goals (58 percent) to finish the game at 51 percent.

EMU tried to keep pace with its perimeter game, attempting 37 3-point field goals, compared to only 27 shots from inside the arc. The lack of an inside game resulted in Hood committing just 12 fouls in the game and the Royals attempted zero free throws in the game.

Hood heated up from distance down the stretch, finishing at 40 percent (8 of 20), which was actually higher than the Royals' 38 percent (14 of 37).

Eastern Mennonite started out hot with a 16-6 run. After Jerome Jones hit a 3-pointer to make it 10-6, Maleke Jones hit back-to-back threes for a 10-point edge. The Blazers called timeout and used the reserves to energize the team.

Hood went on a 17-6 run with four bench players in the game for much of the stretch. Trevor Magnuski, the lone starter to see significant time during the run, scored nine of his 11 points during the stretch, with freshmen Michael Riley and Drew Billingsley accounting for the rest of the output. Two free throws by Magnuski put Hood on top 23-19 with 5:49 left in the half. The Blazers scored the final seven points of the half for a 34-24 lead at halftime.

Hood led by as many as 12 in the second half on three occasions before the Royals mounted a comeback. After a layup by Daniel Wegener made it 50-39 with 14:03 left, RaShawn Latimer sparked a 19-6 run with three 3-pointers, including one that gave EMU a 60-58 advantage with 7:55 to play.

Eastern Mennonite tied the score at both 60 and 62 before Ruiz hit his back-breaking 3-pointers.

Latimer went 5 of 7 from 3-point range and finished with 19 points. Maleke Jones added 14 points on a 4 of 8 effort from behind the arc. Isaiah Harris-Winn scored 10 points. Jones had a game-high five assists.

Hood is idle until hosting No. 15 Swarthmore on December 30.

Stockton defeated Randolph 65-59 in the other game of the final day. With the win, the Ospreys joined the Blazers at 2-0 in the classic. Tom Catanoso from Stockton and the WildCats' Brian Smith each scored 14 in the game.