No. 7 VWC swats Emory & Henry to help claim No. 1 tourney seed
VIRGINIA BEACH -- Virginia Wesleyan College's Marlins wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the upcoming tournament Saturday with a pair of victories.
One of those wins was an 84-60 decision by the No. 7 ranked Marlins against the Wasps of Emory & Henry College at the Jane P. Batten Student Center, while the other "win" was at Hampden-Sydney, Va. where H-SC's Tigers pinned a 79-71 win over No. 23 Randolph-Macon College.
VWC improves to 13-2 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and enters Sunday's regular-season finale against Washington & Lee University with a two-game lead over R-MC, which is now 12-4 and 20-5 overall. H-SC improves to 11-5 in the conference and tied with Guilford College, which dropped a 62-61 overtime decision at Eastern Mennonite University.
Pairings for the tournament are expected to be released Sunday. VWC earns a first-round bye and will begin ODAC tourney competition on Friday, Feb. 24, at 1 p.m. against an opponent to be named.
For now however, the Marlins will celebrate their win over the Wasps, who never led in the contest. Senior Donald Vaughn (Woodbridge, Va./Dumfries Potomac) opened scoring with a dunk and junior Chris Astorga (Suffolk, Va./Virginia Beach Cape Henry Collegiate) followed with a triple to launch VWC (21-3) into a 5-0 lead in the first 42 seconds.
That lead expanded to 13 points late in the first half, before Armando Murrell (Brooklyn, N.Y./Globe Institute of Technology) and Kyle Sensabaugh (Columbus, Ohio/Briggs) sparked E&H (12-13) and cut the spread to seven points. VWC went on to repad the lead to 39-29 by halftime.
Virginia Wesleyan pulled away from the Wasps in the first five minutes of the second half, using a 14-3 scoring run to open up a 53-43 lead. Five Marlins scored in the balanced run, led by sophomore D.J. Woodmore (Virginia Beach/Landstown) with four points.
Emory & Henry never got closer than 15 points the rest of the way, while Virginia Wesleyan continued to stretch the spread with players off the bench. Senior Art Crew (Williamsburg, Va./Lafayette) nailed a triple to make it 72-48 with 5:54 on the clock and rookie Greg Montgomery (Norfolk, Va./Virginia Beach Princess Anne) scored on a layup to make it 74-50 a minute later.
SeniorAli Brown (Hampton, Va./Kecoughtan) sparked the large crowd with a powerful dunk at the 1:48 mark and sophomore Colby Heard (Virginia Beach/Tallwood) and Milton Clemmons (Norfolk, Va./Norview) added scoring down the stretch. Clemmons' jumper, off an assist from sophomore Aaron Clark (Chesapeake, Va./Virginia Beach Tallwood), gave VWC it's largest lead of the game at 84-59.
Virginia Wesleyan hit 52% from the field, while Emory & Henry hit 36.1%. Woodmore led all scorers with 19 points, hitting 9-of-15 fielders. Astorga followed with 17 points, hitting a trio of triples. Juniors Tre' Ford (Falls Church, Va./J.E.B. Stuart) and Chris Teasley (Newport News, Va./Menchville) added nine points each. Teasley also dished out five assists.
Malcolm Green (Marshville, N.C./Forest Hills) led Emory & Henry with 17 points. Murrell finished with 11.
Virginia Wesleyan closes the regular season on Sunday, Feb. 19, hosting Washington & Lee University's Generals at 2 p.m. in a game that will finalize pre-tournament standings in the ODAC.