VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The Emory & Henry College Men's Basketball Team (4-1, 1-0 ODAC) picked up its first Old Dominion Athletic Conference win of the year with a 79-77 upset of No. 16 Virginia Wesleyan College (3-2, 0-1 ODAC) Saturday afternoon. The Marlins, who were picked to finish first in the ODAC regular season this year, are also ranked as one of the top NCAA Division III teams in the country by the NABC and D3hoops.com.
FINAL SCORE – Emory & Henry 79, No. 16 Virginia Wesleyan 77
LOCATION – Virginia Beach, Virginia – The Batten Center
RECORDS – Emory & Henry (4-1, 1-0 ODAC); No. 16 Virginia Wesleyan (3-2, 0-1 ODAC)
How It Happened
- The two squads traded buckets for the opening five and a half minutes before Emory & Henry went on a 13-2 run which included a pair of "and-one" plays to take a 25-16 advantage with 12:23 on the clock.
- VWC began to chip away at the deficit over the next 10 minutes, eventually retaking the lead, 44-43, with 2:30 to go before the break. Both teams went cold from the field to close the half, but a three-pointer by freshman guard Colin Molden (Apex, N.C.) put E&H ahead, 46-44, going into the intermission.
- Coming out of the break, the Marlins scored the first bucket to tie things up at 46, but the next 10 points went the way of the Wasps for the first double-digit lead (56-46) of the game with 14:17 to go.
- Emory & Henry extended its advantage to 61-49, but a 14-5 scoring run by Virginia Wesleyan closed the gap to 66-63 thanks to outside shooting by Khory Moore.
- E&H pushed back with a 7-1 run to go back up by nine with 6:21 to play, but VWC would not be counted out. The Marlins went on a late 6-0 run to cut the margin to two with 90 seconds on the clock.
- Defensive stops by both squads in the final minute and a half set up a final possession by Virginia Wesleyan which went to Moore for a three-pointer which would have put the Marlins ahead, but the shot caromed off the rim and was secured by the Wasps' defense for the 79-77 win.
Head Coach David Willson – "I am proud of our team's mental toughness in today's win. (Virginia Wesleyan) made several runs at us that could have rattled us, but we kept our poise and made the necessary adjustments to win the game. It was also impressive to see our team bounce back from a disappointing overtime loss at Maryville (Wednesday) and beat a nationally-ranked ODAC opponent on the road. I am seeing a lot of positives with this team, but we have to keep getting better."
Emory & Henry Individual Leaders
- Sophomore forward Alic Wynn (Asheville, N.C.) led the Wasps with 20 points on 9-for-11 shooting to go along with seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
- Senior guard Myles Turner (Richmond, Va.) put up 18 points, going five-for-six from the free throw line and added six rebounds and six assists.
- Junior forward Chase Branscomb (Bristol, Tenn.) had 13 points and seven boards while senior guard Ryan Gravley (Austinville, Va.) chipped in eight points, four assists and two rebounds.
Virginia Wesleyan Individual Leaders
- Moore, the reigning ODAC Player of the Week, scored a game-high 28 points, hitting four three-pointers, and added six rebounds and two assists.
- Josh Williams had 17 points off the bench while Kaelin Poe tallied 14 points, seven boards, three blocks and two assists.
A Deeper Look
- Emory & Henry connected on 51.6 percent (32-of-62) of its field goal attempts including a blistering 19-for-31 (61.3%) in the first half. VWC struggled from the field after the intermission, dropping its overall field goal percentage to 42.9 (27-for-63) for the game.
- The Wasps led 42-34 on points in the paint and had a 14-8 advantage on fast-break points. Both teams took care of the ball all afternoon with just 11 combined turnovers, but the Marlins made the most of E&H miscues and led 11-2 on points off turnovers.
- Emory & Henry led 38-35 in rebounding, but Virginia Wesleyan grabbed 14 offensive rebounds which translated to a 16-13 lead on second-chance points.
- The win for E&H was the first over Virginia Wesleyan since January 31, 2009 when the Wasps prevailed, 88-85, at the John Rutledge King Center.
- It marks the second-straight year that Emory & Henry has met Virginia Wesleyan in its first conference game of the season.
- Emory & Henry will return home on Wednesday to host Ferrum College in non-conference action at 8:00 p.m.
- The contest will be the second game of a doubleheader at Bob Johnson Court at the E&H women are set to play at 6:00 p.m.
-photo courtesy of Joey Gass