DOVER, Del. -– Wesley hung on to defeat No. 1 Virginia Wesleyan 72-70 on Thursday at Wentworth Gymnasium. The Wolverines (9-4) have now won four consecutive games and six of its past seven while the Marlins fall to 7-2.
After holding a lead for most of the game, Wesley found itself trailing 67-66 with just under a minute left after Virginia Wesleyan embarked on a 15-4 run. That all changed when Quincy Pettiford (six points, four rebounds) hit a baseline jumper to give the Wolverines a 68-67 advantage with just 53 seconds left.
The Marlins, who were looking to push the ball on their ensuing possession, had their downcourt pass intercepted by David Langan near the endline and Langan pased the ball to Paul Reynolds. Reynolds dribbled for several seconds before being fouled. He made the front half of the one-and-one and sunk the second to increase the lead to three points with 23 seconds remaining.
Virginia Wesleyan’s Chris Astorga bricked a potential game-tying 3-pointer, which was rebounded by Wesley freshman Wayne Lennon. Lennon was immediately fouled and he hit both shots from the stripe. The Marlins cut the deficit to just a single basket on a 3-pointer by DJ Woodmore with 1.3 seconds remaining.
After a Marlins timeout, Wesley turned over the ball under its own basket and Virginia Wesleyan’s would-be game-tying shot bounced off the rim as Wesley hung on for the victory.
Langan led Wesley with 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting, to go with 10 rebounds for his fourth consecutive double-double. Lennon went for 12 points, five rebounds and three steals.
Reynolds and freshman Anthony Bowers also were huge for Wesley off the bench. Reynolds had one of the most complete games of his career as he scored 11 points, to go with eight rebounds and a career-high eight assists. Bowers scored a career-high 11 points and made all four of his free throws.
Wesley outshot Virginia Wesleyan, 48.3 percent to 43.9 percent, but the Marlins made 10 shots from behind-the-arc to stay in the game. The Wolverines also out-rebounded VWC 39 to 26 and turned 11 offensive rebounds into 15 second-chance points.
Woodmore led all scorers with 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting to go with a team-high seven rebounds. Astorga also scored 18 while Chris Teasley pitched in with 15.