Astorga nets 24 to guide No. 5 VWC past Emory & Henry

EMORY, Va. -- Playing basketball at Emory & Henry College has been as much fun as sucking lemons for the Virginia Wesleyan College men's basketball team in recent years.

There have been some less-than-sweet finishes for Virginia Wesleyan, which entered Saturday's game with only two wins in the last six trips to Emory dating back to 2003.  While things started slowly in Saturday's meeting, No. 5 Virginia Wesleyan turned it on in the second half and posted a 73-50 Old Dominion Athletic Conference road win.

Junior Chris Astorga (Suffolk, Va./Virginia Beach Cape Henry Collegiate) scored a season-high 24 points, and his second highest career total, hitting 9-of-16 field goals, including five triples, to help key the win.  He scored 12 points during a decisive 21-3 scoring run for Virginia Wesleyan in the second half, as the Marlins expanded a 46-42 lead with 10:27 remaining in the game into a 67-45 advantage with 5:48 on the clock.

Junior Chris Teasley (Newport News, Va./Menchville) added seven points in that big run and senior Donald Vaughn (Woodbridge, Va./Dumfries Potomac) added a basket as Virginia Wesleyan quieted the host Wasps for the remainder of the game.

Emory & Henry (2-5, 0-3) followed the lead of junior Kyle Sensabaugh (Columbus, Ohio/Briggs), sophomore Tyler Mullins (Hazard, Ky./Perry Couny Central), and rookie Tyler Driver (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) to keep things competitive throughout the first half.  But, Vaughn hit a basket that gave VWC a 24-23 lead with 5:06 remaining in the first half and the Marlins held the lead the rest of the way.

Emory & Henry battled back to trail just 28-25 at halftime and 37-35 with 13:36 remaining in the game, only to see Virginia Wesleyan answer with key baskets from Astorga.  After the Wasps cut the spread to 37-35, Virginia Wesleyan out-scored E&H 30-10 in the next eight minutes to take a two point lead to a 22-point spread. 

VWC's largest lead of the game was 73-48 following Astorga's fifth triple of the contest.

While Astorga led the Marlins with 24 points, sophomoreD.J. Woodmore (Virginia Beach/Landstown) contributed 17 points, hitting 7-of-7 shots from the free throw lines.  Teasley, who hit 5-of-11 field goal attempts, finished with 12 points, and Vaughn scored 10 points and posted a game-high five blocks.  Astorga led the Marlins in rebounding with seven.

Sensabaugh led E&H with 17 points, connecting on 7-of-14 field goal attempts, including three triples.  Junior Malcolm Green (Marshville, N.C./Forest Hills) and Mullins added 11 points each.  Malcolm pulled down seven rebounds to lead E&H, which won the battle of the boards 42-36. 

Virginia Wesleyan return to action in quick fashion, stepping out of league play to compete Sunday, Dec. 4, at North Carolina Wesleyan College at 2 p.m.  The Bishops (5-2) were the preseason favorite to repeat as the USA South Athletic Conference champion.

--AMDG--