EMORY, Va. – The Virginia Wesleyan College Men's Basketball Team (15-6, 10-2 ODAC) needed an extra five minutes of play to hold on to their first-place position in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference standings on Saturday afternoon. That overtime period was almost not enough as the Marlins, who made the NCAA Division III Final Four a year ago, just squeaked out a 89-87 win over the Emory & Henry College Wasps (11-10, 5-7 ODAC).
The contest was part of the Glenn Roberts Day celebration on the E&H campus as the Wasps honored the 1935 graduate of the college, who is credited with being one of the forerunners of the "jump-shot," a necessity in today's version of the game.
The contest featured 10 ties and 11 lead changes over the 45 minutes with neither team leading by more than nine points the entire way. The vast majority of the game was played with a one- or two-possession differential in the score including the whole second half and all of overtime.
VWC got out to their biggest lead early, going up 17-9 at the 10:35 mark of the first half. Emory & Henry chiseled away at the score over the next eight and a half minutes with a 29-11 run to lead 38-29 with 1:42 to go before the break. The second half alone saw five ties and four lead changes and the Wasps had their chance to swipe the victory with a last-second shot, but it would not fall.
Fast forward five minutes to the end of overtime, and E&H was once again in possession of the ball. This time the Wasps managed two looks to either win or force a second overtime, but came up just short, 89-87.
Virginia Wesleyan's Khory Moore led all players with 31 points, hitting on six three-pointers and added nine rebounds and two assists. Tim Jones added 22 points, seven rebounds and two assists while Daevon Brown notched a double-double off the bench with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Marlins shot 45.1 percent (32-for-71) from the field, hitting on 11 three-pointers. VWC also won the battle on points off turnovers, 13-4, taking advantage of nine E&H turnovers compared to just five miscues of its own.
Emory & Henry was paced by junior guard Myles Turner (Richmond, Va.) with 21 points and four assists, bringing him to within four points of 1,000 for his career. Sophomore forward Chase Branscomb (Bristol, Tenn.) posted a double-double with a career-high 20 points and added 11 rebounds while freshman forward Aaron Ferguson (Princeton, W.Va.) was one rebound shy of a double-double of his own with 16 points and nine boards. Junior guard Ryan Gravley (Austinville, Va.) and sophomore guard John Shelor (Giles, Va.) chipped in nine points each.
As a team, Emory & Henry was 32-for-67 (47.8%) on field goals and scored at a 76.2 percent (16-for-21) clip at the free throw line. The Wasps held a 46-38 rebounding advantage in the game, and the bench outscored its VWC counterpart, 30-23.
Emory & Henry will travel to Guilford College on Wednesday for a 5:00 p.m., matchup with the Quakers. Please note that the time of the game has been changed to 5:00 p.m.
-photo courtesy of Dave Grace