Va. Wesleyan wins ranked battle
Marlins commit just eight turnovers against nation’s top defense
Virginia Wesleyan Athletics
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- DJ Woodmore knocked down two pressure-packed free throws with one second on the clock to give No. 6 Virginia Wesleyan a 53-50 lead against No. 11 Randolph-Macon in a showdown between the top two teams in the NCAA South Region.
Woodmore was at the line after a technical foul was assessed after R-MC head coach Nathan Davis called for a timeout without one available. His attempt was to put the ball in a better position for a final Yellow Jacket shot. Woodmore's pair of makes at the line made it a three-point deficit for the Jackets, who nearly saw the strategy work. But a mid-court heave by Adam Desgain hit the rim and bounced away and the 53-50 score became final as Virginia Wesleyan marked its second victory of the season against the Jackets.
The win, which was VWC's 13th in the last 15 games with Macon, not only improved the No. 6-ranked Marlins to 11-1 in the ODAC, but it also gave Virginia Wesleyan (21-1) its ninth overall season with more than 20 wins and eighth in the past nine seasons. It also marked VWC's 300th homecourt victory in program history, including an 11-0 slate this season.
The 11th-ranked Yellow Jackets enjoyed the lead for a good portion of the game, posting a 24-20 advantage at halftime. The inside play of 6-foot-9 senior Brandon Braxton and key scores by Jordan Brown and Calvin Croskey helped R-MC stretch the lead to six points in the first six minutes of the second half.
A big triple by junior Ed Roberts turned momentum to VWC however, as the Marlins used a 14-5 scoring run to open a 42-39 lead. Junior Donald Vaughn, sophomore Chris Teasley and Woodmore all scored in the run for the Marlins.
Virginia Wesleyan stretched its lead to five points on a Teasley jumper with 6:51 remaining, but R-MC came back one more time. Lamar Giggetts, Danny Jones and Braxton scored to push the Jackets into a 48-47 lead.
Eighteen seconds later, Teasley hit two free throws to return the lead to Virginia Wesleyan for good. The Marlins followed a missed 3-pointer by the Jackets with a huge jumper by junior Rakeem Davis to take a 51-48 lead with 2:29 on the clock.
A series of missed shots by both teams in the intense final minutes kept the score at 51-48 until Croskey connected on a pair of freebies with seven seconds remaining to pull the Jackets within 51-50. A missed front end of a bonus situation by VWC gave R-MC a chance to take the lead, but a 3-point attempt by the Jackets did not fall.
The rebound went to VWC and the intentional technical by R-MC followed before Woodmore hit the free throws to give the Marlins the final advantage.
Teasley led all scoring with 17 points, hitting three triples. Vaughn added 14 points and Woodmore finished with nine.
Jones led R-MC with 12 points and Braxton finished with 11. Jones also led all rebounding with 11 caroms. The Jackets posted a slim 34-32 advantage on the boards.
Virginia Wesleyan's defense helped force 16 Randolph-Macon turnovers. VWC committed only eight against the nation's No. 1 defensive team.