Big Friday for Macedo as Marlins win No. 11
VIRGINIA BEACH -- Friday turned out to be a big day for Virginia Wesleyan College men's basketball coach David Macedo. (Box score)
His No. 3 ranked Marlins gave him an 11th victory of the season, staying undefeated with a 76-64 victory over the Bishops of North Carolina Wesleyan College at the Jane P. Batten Student Center.
Before that however, around 1:25 a.m., his wife Kristen introduced him to his second son, and third child overall, as Declin James became part of the Macedo family.
Entering Friday's non-conference contest with little sleep, Macedo was still on top of his game enough to guide the Marlins through a challenge from the visiting Bishops (6-5), who refused to be knocked out of contention for most of the game.
In fact, the Bishops led twice in the first half and took a 45-42 lead with 14:27 remaining to be played following a timely triple from Cornelius Snow (Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt) and five straight points from Devin Nichols (Fayetteville, N.C./South View).
It was a short-lived lead however, as key unanswered scores from Chris Astorga (Suffolk, Va./Virginia Beach Cape Henry), Donald Vaughn (Woodbridge, Va./Dumfries Potomac) and Rakeem Davis (Chesapeake, Va./Deep Creek) pushed Virginia Wesleyan into a 50-45 lead and the Marlins never trailed again.
NCWC pulled within four points at 54-50 with 8:10 remaining, but Virginia Wesleyan sparked an 11-3 run that gave the host team a 65-52 advantage in the final four minutes. Astorga had four points in the run that was capped by a big triple from sophomore Tre' Ford (Falls Church, Va./J.E.B. Stuart), off an Astorga assist.
North Carolina Wesleyan never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
NCWC, which had a three-game winning streak snapped with the loss, twice in the first half, but could not make it stick. Domarius Thomas (Raleigh, N.C./Southeast) hit a jumper to put the Bishops in front at 25-24, only to see the Marlins answer with a three-point play from rookie DJ Woodmore (Virginia Beach/Landstown) on the ensuing play.
Virginia Wesleyan outscored the Bishops 10-0 in the next two minutes to open up a 34-25 lead. NCWC recovered quickly though, and scored the final seven points of the half to pull within a 34-32 score by halftime.
On a day when the three-point shot was not working for the Marlins, who hit only four of 20 attempts, Vaughn helped get things done inside. He posted game-high totals of 22 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three blocks to guide VWC. Vaughn hit 8-of-14 field goal attempts and 6-of-7 from the free throw lines en route to posting his season-high to date.
Ford, who hit 5-of-8 shots, finished with 12 points, followed by Astorga with 11 points and Chris Teasley (Newport News, Va./Menchville) with 10.
Thomas led NCWC with 21 points, connecting on 9-of-15 field goal attempts. Matt Dougherty (Ayden, N.C./Ayden-Grifton) finished with 12 points and Nichols tallied 11.
Virginia Wesleyan dominated on the backboards, outrebounding the Bishops 41-23.
Virginia Wesleyan enters a 15-day holiday break before returning to action on the road on Saturday, Jan. 2, in Old Dominion Athletic Conference competition at Lynchburg College. Game time is 2 p.m.