ATLANTA — In a clash of South region heavyweights, senior Michael Friedberg and junior McPherson Moore accounted for 13 of Emory’s 17 points in overtime to spark the Eagles to a surprising 91-82 victory against No. 1 Virginia Wesleyan on Sunday. The Eagles posted their fourth consecutive win and improved their overall record to 8-2. The Marlins slipped to 7-3.
Emory ended the contest shooting 50.8 percent (33-of-65) from the floor compared to VWC’s mark of 41.7 percent (30-of-72). Though Virginia Wesleyan knocked down 10 3-point field goals to the Eagles’ six and finished with a 40-37 edge in rebounding, Emory countered with excellent free-throw shooting, converting 82.6 percent from the charity stripe (19-of-23) as well as coming up with numerous key plays.
Friedberg ended the game with 18 points (13 coming in the second half and overtime), sinking 6-of-13 field goal tries and 6-of-7 from the free-throw line en route to his eighth double-figure scoring effort of the season. Friedberg also came through with his second double-double of the year after pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with his five blocked shots.
Moore also turned in an 18-point effort, successful on 5-of-7 from the floor along with a 7-for-7 performance at the foul line, running his streak to 21 consecutive makes from the stripe. Junior Jake Davis topped the Emory scoring attack with 20 points, knocking down eight of his 13 field goal attempts and chipping in three free throws. It was the fourth time during the year that Davis had registered 20 or more points. Rounding out the team’s double-figure scorers were senior Alex Greven and sophomore Michael Florin with 15 and 12 points, respectively.
Behind 13 first-half points from Davis, the Eagles built a 36-31 lead at halftime and stretched that advantage to eight points on a pair of occasions early in the second half. The top-ranked Virginia Wesleyan squad responded with a 12-2 charge, capped by a 3-pointer by DJ Woodmore to claim a two-point advantage with 13:18 left. Another 3-pointer by Woodmore gave VWC a 51-49 lead, but the Eagles responded with six consecutive points, four by Davis, to put them ahead by a 55-51 count.
Still holding a slim one-point lead, Emory scored 13 of the game’s next 19 points, capped by Moore producing back-to-back baskets, to stake itself to a 68-60 cushion with 5:28 on the clock. After the teams exchange free throws, the Marlins came through with an 11-2 sprint, capped by a basket by Woodmore, to take a 72-70 lead with 1:13 remaining. After Friedberg knotted the score with 39 ticks left, Woodmore, who tallied a game-high 24 points, put VWC ahead by a pair with a jumper. Heading into the waning moments of the game, McPherson drove the lane and hit a layup with four seconds to tie the game at 74. A final shot attempt by the Marlins with one second left missed its mark forcing five more minutes of basketball.
Emory never trailed in the extra period and saw Friedberg score the team’s first six points in helping the Eagles to an 80-76 lead with 2:59 remaining. After a bucket by the Marlins’ Chris Teasley, Emory scored seven consecutive points, the last two on a bucket by Moore, extending its margin to 87-78 with 48 seconds left on the clock. VWC came back with a three-point play with 40 seconds remaining but four consecutive conversions by Moore at the foul line sealed the game for Emory.