SALEM, Va. – The #1 Lynchburg College Men's Basketball Team (21-6) sprang out to a 28-8 lead midway through the first half and never looked back defeated fifth-seeded Emory & Henry College (16-12), 94-64, Saturday evening at the Salem Civic Center. The Hornets advance to the championship game of the 2016 Old Dominion Athletic Conference Tournament by virtue of the win.
LC led by as much as 28 points in the first half as it shot 60.6 percent (20-for-33) from the field. Bobby Ford scored 15 of his game-high 18 points, all of which came on three-point baskets, in the opening 20 minutes while Austen Arnold went six-for-nine from the field before the break, to account for 14 of his 16 points.
After the intermission, the Hornets extended their lead to 32 points but the Wasps did not quit and matched them basket for basket until the end of the game. E&H put together an 8-0 run midway through the half to get the score to 67-44 but Lynchburg was firing on all cylinders with a berth in the ODAC Championship game in its sights. Emory & Henry scored four of the last six points of the game to make the final margin 94-64.
Shooting 52.8 percent (38-for-72) for the contest including a 12-for-23 (52.2%) effort from beyond the arc, Lynchburg was led by Ford's 18 points while Arnold had 16 points and eight rebounds. Zack Burnett pitched in 12 points, three rebounds, five assists and four steals while Alex Graves notched 10 points, four boards and five blocks. Lyndon White contributed 11 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Emory & Henry placed three players in double figures led by junior guard Myles Turner (Richmond, Va.) who had 14 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore guard John Shelor (Giles, Va.) tallied 14 points and three rebounds while junior forward Brandon Self (Norfolk, Va.) added 11 points, six rebounds and three blocks. Sophomore forward Chase Branscomb (Bristol, Tenn.) and freshman forward Alic Wynn (Asheville, N.C.) added nine and eight points off the bench, respectively.
As a team, the Wasps managed to shoot just 28.6 percent (22-for-77) for the game, hitting six three-pointers. The Wasps and Hornets were tied 45-45 on rebounding with E&H leading 18-9 on the offensive glass.
Emory & Henry finishes the year with a 16-12 overall record, its first winning season since 2006-07 and most wins since the 2003-04 campaign. The Wasps' eight ODAC victories are also the most since 2006-07 and they pick up two postseason victories for the first time since 1994.
-photo courtesy of Gracie Withers