Virginia Wesleyan rolls to first win
Woodmore scores game-high 20 points, lifts Marlins to victory
ASHLAND, Va. -- It did not take long for top-ranked Virginia Wesleyan to emerge with the kind of effort most people have expected them to display coming into the season.
The Marlins used a 7-0 run late in the first half to establish control against Trinity (Texas) and opened the second half with an 11-1 surge to leave VWC in charge the rest of the way in an impressive 84-54 victory on Friday afternoon in the Yellow Jacket Classic hosted by Randolph-Macon College.
Trinity (3-2) kept pace with the Marlins (1-1) through most of the first half, which included five ties and a Tiger lead at 25-24.
Sophomore D.J. Woodmore, last year's national freshmen of the year, then hit a three off a pass from junior Tre' Ford with 6:12 remaining in the first half and Virginia Wesleyan led the rest of the way.
Scores by Trinity's Zach Lambert, Ryan Beall, and Robert Kitzinger pulled the Tigers within 32-30 with 3:40 remaining in the half, before VWC came back with its 7-0 run to create some space. Senior Jason Burns started it for the Marlins with a jumper and junior Chris Teasely added five points to help push Virginia Wesleyan into a 39-30 advantage.
VWC led 39-32 at the break, and 39-34 to start the second half when Kitzinger opened the scoring for Trinity. That was as close as the Tigers would get as four different Marlins scored in the next four minutes to extend their lead to 50-35.
It was all part of a solid second-half shooting by the Marlins, who connected on 11 of their first 12 shots of the half and hit 61.5% for the half overall. Virginia Wesleyan hit 54.5% from the field for the game, while Trinity managed only 37.9%, including 31% in the second half. VWC opened up its largest lead at 83-52 on a pair of free throws by freshmen Cameron Owens.
Four Marlins recorded double-figures in scoring on the afternoon, led by Woodmore with 20 points. He hit 7-of-13 field goal attempts, including three threes. Burns put up six shots and connected on all of them en route to 13 points, junior Chris Astorga added 12 points, and Teasley finished with 11.
Kitzinger hit 8-of-14 field goal attempts and led Trinity with 17 points. Beall added 10 points in a losing effort for the Tigers.
Trinity won the battle on the boards 37-31, led by Lambert with six rebounds. Astorga led VWC on the boards with seven rebounds. Ford contributed to the Marlin showing with a game-high four assists and two steals and VWC senior Donald Vaughn finished with a game-leading three blocks.