VIRIGNIA BEACH, Va. – The No. 2 Virginia Wesleyan College Men's Basketball Team (3-2, 1-0 ODAC) held off a run by Emory & Henry College (2-3, 0-1 ODAC) early in the second half to claim a 76-61 win in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference opener for both squads Saturday afternoon at the Batten Center.
Virginia Wesleyan, which reached the NCAA Division III national semifinals last season, is ranked second in the country by D3hoops.com in the publication's preseason poll. The D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll is recognized as the official national ranking by the National Association of Basketball Coaches for Division III.
The Marlins jumped out to a 20-6 lead at the 11:55 mark of the first half on a dunk by Khory Moore. VWC extended its lead to 18 points on two different occasions before Emory & Henry went on an 18-8 run to close the half. Sophomore guard Johnny McLean (Charlotte, N.C.) banked in a 75-foot, buzzer-beating three-pointer for the Wasps to make the halftime score 38-30.
E&H continued to put the pressure on early in the first five and a half minutes of the second half, outscoring Virginia Wesleyan 12-9 to close the gap to 47-42 with 14:29 left to play. Freshman forward Alic Wynn (Asheville, N.C.) scored six-straight points for the Wasps during the stretch. The Marlins responded with an 11-1 run to go up 62-45 with just under 10 minutes on the clock and would lead by as much as 19 down the stretch. VWC slowed the pace in the closing minutes as it claimed the 15-point, 76-61 victory.
Moore led the Marlins with 20 points on eight-for-15 shooting with four three-pointers. Corey White put up 14 points and seven boards while five other players for VWC posted eight points including Tim Jones who added five rebounds, eight assists and three steals.
Virginia Wesleyan shot 51.8 percent (29-for-56) for the game, hitting nine three-pointers. The Marlins forced 21 turnovers, scoring 20 points off the Wasps' miscues, and led 16-8 on second-chance points.
Emory & Henry was paced by junior guard Myles Turner (Richmond, Va.), who tallied 15 points, five rebounds and three assists. Wynn finished the game with nine points, leading all players with eight rebounds while freshman forward Aaron Ferguson (Princeton, W.Va.) scored eight points off the bench. The Wasps shot 21-for-49 (42.9%) for the game with five triples, but managed to hit just 56.0 percent (14-of-25) of their free throws. E&H scored 32 points in the paint and got 26 of its points off the bench.
E&H will return home on Wednesday to host Ferrum College in a non-conference contest at 7:00 p.m.
-photo courtesy of Caleb Johnston, E&H '15