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Badger, Hassell Lead R-MC into ODAC Title Game

Badger, Hassell Lead R-MC into ODAC Title Game

SALEM, Va. - Senior Marcus Badger (Plymouth Meeting, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh) had 13 points and seven assists, while senior Joe Hassell (Portsmouth, Va./Indian River) added 13 points and six rebounds as the top-seeded Randolph-Macon men's basketball team defeated No. 4 Eastern Mennonite 67-57 Saturday afternoon in the semifinals of the ODAC Tournament at the Salem Civic Center.

The top-ranked Yellow Jackets (25-2) extended their win streak to 22 games and advanced to the ODAC Championship Game on Sunday, March 1 at 1 p.m. against second-seeded Virginia Wesleyan.

The Royals (17-10) jumped out to a 16-5 lead in the first nine minutes. R-MC put together a 20-8 run, capped by a three-pointer by junior Lamont Moore (Waverly, Va./Tidewater Academy), to take its first lead at 25-24 with 4:14 left in the first half. The run extended to 26-8 as sophomore Michael Taylor (Apex, N.C./Grace Christian) and senior Chris Hamilton (Bellbrook, Ohio/Bellbrook) both nailed three-pointers as the Yellow Jackets led 31-24 with 2:45 remaining in the half. R-MC would take a 34-27 lead to the locker room at halftime. Badger led the way with nine first-half points.

The Yellow Jackets would not relinquish the lead in the second half. EMU was able to pull to within one at 44-43 with 12:22 remaining before an 8-1 run pushed the lead out to eight at 52-44 with 9:30 remaining. Seniors Trent Walker (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian) and Evan Jackson (Richmond, Va./Deep Run) both scored four points in that 8-1 spurt for R-MC. The Royals again cut the deficit to three before the Yellow Jackets pulled away and claimed the 67-57 victory.

Hamilton finished with 11 points for R-MC. Senior Akeem Holmes (King William, Va./King William) had four points and pulled down eight rebounds.

The Yellow Jacket defense forced 18 EMU turnovers, including 10 in the first half.