Virginia Wesleyan defeats Roanoke for 12th victory
VIRGINIA BEACH -- Rachel Miller hit a three pointer for Virginia Wesleyan College in the early seconds of Saturday's women's basketball game with Roanoke College, giving the Marlins a lead they held the rest of the way.
Roanoke (1-10-, 1-6) ignited several times during the Old Dominion Athletic Conference game at the Jane P. Batten Student Center, only to see Virginia Wesleyan (12-3, 9-1) answer with scoring that kept the Marlins in front en route to a 55-44 victory.
Virginia Wesleyan took a 14-3 lead before Roanoke found its first basket....14 minutes into the game. Nicci Moats (Blue Ridge, Va./Lord Botetourt) hit a jumper for the Maroons, ending a string of 18 consecutive scoreless field goal attempts.
Senior Shawnee Lewis (Alexandria, Va./Thomas A. Edison) and rookie Sarah Seipp (Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg) came back with scores for the Marlins to open up a 21-7 lead. Virginia Wesleyan went on to lead 24-11 at halftime.
Miller (Sterling Park, Va./Park View) and Seipp hit early triples for VWC to open the second half, giving the Marlins a 30-14 lead. But, Laurel Hankins (Dublin, Va./Bland), Paxton Gwinn (Buxton, N.C./Cape Hatteras), and Moats helped Roanoke on an 11-1 run to pull within a 31-25 score with 14:59 on the clock.
Seipp stopped the run with a triple and rookies Kerri-Leanne Taylor (Stockport, England/The Hill School, Pa.) and Nancy Kelly (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney) came through with key scoring for the Marlins to push VWC out to a 44-29 advantage with 10:15 on the clock.
Rachel Dellehunt (Kinderhook, N.Y./Ichabod Crane), Moats and Gwin came back for the Maroons, guiding a 9-0 scoring run that cut the VWC lead to 44-38 with 6:20 remaining. But, rookie Brittany Glasco (Fredericksburg, Va./Massaponax) scored on a layup and sophomore Symonne Newsome (Riestertown, Md./St. Paul's School for Girls) nailed a timely triple to return the Marlins to a double-digit lead.
Roanoke closed within eight points on a Dellehunt layup, but never got closer in the final 4:33.
Virginia Wesleyan survived one of its worst shooting afternoons of the season as the Marlins nailed only 26.4% from the field. The Marlins had better success from three point range, hitting 8-of-25, while Roanoke attempted five and hit only three.
Seipp scored 14 points to lead all scoring. Senior Kristen Blalock (Suffolk, Va./Portsmouth Christian) led all rebounding with 11. Seipp followed with nine rebounds.
Moats led Roanoke with 12 points and Gwin added 10 points. Moats also pulled down 10 rebounds.
Virginia Wesleyan returns to competition on Friday, Jan. 20, at Randolph College in an ODAC game beginning at 7 p.m.