Woodmore's 35 guides No. 2 VWC past Lynchburg
VIRGINIA BEACH -- Something was definitely troublingD.J. Woodmore as he arrived on the Virginia Wesleyan College campus for Sunday's Old Dominion Athletic Conference men's basketball game against the Hornets of Lynchburg College.
That usual smile and up-beat personality were missing. So was his game ... briefly.
After missing his first two shots, the 2011 National Rookie of the Year pulled himself together to focus on playing for a friend. On Friday, one of Woodmore's best friends was shot at a party and remains hospitalized.
"His recovery is a day-to-day thing," said Woodmore (Virginia Beach/Landstown). "No matter what I did, I went out to play for him."
It turned out to be best Woodmore showing in his brief time at VWC. The sophomore ace put on a scoring clinic, hitting inside and outside from every position on the court to score a career-high 35 points, just eight shy of the VWC single-game record. Woodmore finished the half hitting on 8-of-11 shots, and 13-of-21 overall, including 5-of-10 from three-point range.
An improved, athletic Lynchburg (7-5, 2-2) team led by four points early in the game, but a Woodmore triple off a pass from senior Art Crew (Williamsburg, Va./Lafayette) gave VWC a 19-17 lead. The Marlins never trailed again.
"This was a big test for us," said Woodmore. "But we wanted to come out and make a statement to start 2012. It was a good win, but we know, in our league, we can't rest."
While Woodmore was a major force for the No. 2 Marlins (9-1, 3-0), it was a showcase of depth for Virginia Wesleyan. Juniors Chris Astorga (Suffolk, Va./Virginia Beach Cape Henry) and Chris Teasley (Newport News, Va./Menchville) scored 19 and 17 points, respectively, and Crew and Rakeem Davis (Chesapeake, Va./Deep Creek) added career-high totals of 13 and eight points, respectively.
Eight Marlins contributed to VWC's 108-point total, which tied the 10th highest total in program history. The Marlins helped themselves with a sharp passing game led by junior Tre' Ford (Falls Church, Va./J.E.B. Stuart) and Teasely. Ford finished with a career-high nine assists and Teasley added a career-high eight as the Marlins recorded a season-high 27, tying the sixth highest total in program history.
That passing set up an assortment of big shots, many from three-point range. Virginia Wesleyan attempted 29 triples and connected on 13, tying the third-highest total in Marlin history. While Woodmore hit five of the long-rangers, Astorga and Crew came through with three each.
Virginia Wesleyan completed the impressive offensive showing with a strong defensive effort that produced 13 steals, led by senior Donald Vaughn (Woodbridge, Va./Dumfries Potomac) with three,. The Marlins also helped force 23 Lynchburg turnovers. VWC turned the ball over only twice in the first half and 12 times overall.
A fast-paced game started with two ties and five lead changes before Woodmore's triple gave VWC a 19-17 lead with 13:06 in the first half. It was part of a 27-14 run by the Marlins, who opened up a 43-29 lead with 6:33 on the clock. Woodmore led the way with 13 points, followed by Crew with five.
Lynchburg, enjoying its best season start in recent years, rode the scoring of Tucker Lucas (Herndon, Va./Herndon), Austin Chillemi (Richmond, Va./Trinity Episcopal), and Harry West Jr. (Mechanicsville, Va./Meadowbrook) to pull within a 45-35 score. But, that would be as close as the Hornets would get the rest of the game. VWC finished the half with a 15-7 run, helped by triples from Crew, Woodmore, and Astorga to lead 60-42 at halftime.
VWC never let up, even after the break, opening the second half with a triple from Ford to spark a 24-10 scoring surge that opened up an 84-52 lead with 13:38 remaining in the game. RookieCameron Owens (Centreville, Va./Centreville) gave Virginia Wesleyan's largest lead was 36 points, 108-72, on a jumper with 2:29 remaining in the game.
West emerged as high scorer for Lynchburg with 17 points. Nate Campbell (Cary, N.C./Cary) added 15 points, Chillemi finished with 12, and Tucker added 11.
Virginia Wesleyan plays again on Wednesday, Jan. 4, in an ODAC contest at Hampde-Sydney College at 7 p.m.