Four in double-figure scoring a Virginia Wesleyan wins at EMU
HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Seniors Chris Astorga and Tre' Ford both made pressure-packed free throws in the final 43 seconds of Wednesday's Old Dominion Athletic Conference men's basketball game at Eastern Mennonite University where the visiting Virginia Wesleyan College Marlins posed a 70-65 victory.
Astorga (Suffolk/Virginia Beach Cape Henry Collegiate) was 4-of-4 from the line and Ford (Falls Church/J.E.B. Stuart) was 2-of-2 as the Marlins held off an EMU team that battled back from a 56-40 deficit to pull within a 64-60 score with 48 seconds to play.
But, Virginia Wesleyan's ability to hit from the free throw line rebuilt the Marlins' lead to 70-62 with just 10 seconds on the clock. A triple by Dorian Valentine (Bassett/Carlisle) with one second remaining cut the final deficit of defeat to five points for the host Royals.
Virginia Wesleyan, which defeated EMU for the second time this season, improved to 16-6 overall and to 11-2 in the ODAC. The win keeps the Marlins in the No. 2 spot in the current league standings, just one game behind league-leading Hampden-Sydney and two games ahead of third-pace Randolph (9-4).
Eastern Mennonite (13-9, 6-7) opened up an 8-2 lead early in the game, but it did not take long for Virginia Wesleyan to respond. Senior Chris Teasley (Newport News/Menchville) came through for five points in a 9-0 run that gave Virginia Wesleyan the lead with 13:26 on the clock.
Dajon Daniel (Fredericksburg/Mountain View) and Valentine scored for EMU to return the lead to the Royals, but not for long
Junior Trent Batson (Lewes, Del./Cape Henlopen) and Astorga scored three consecutive baskets for Virginia Wesleyan in a 14-2 run that gave the Marlins the lead for good. Back-to-back triples by DJ Woodmore (Virginia Beach/Landstown) and Teasley capped the run as Virginia Wesleyan opened up a 25-14 lead with 8:39 before halftime.
EMU came back to cut the spread to four points only to see the Marlins use a 7-2 run to end the half for a 36-25 lead at the break. Ford scored five points in the run that ended with a Colby Heard (Virginia Beach/Tallwood) dunk off a feed from Ford at the buzzer.
Virginia Wesleyan stayed in front throughout the second half and used another 7-2 scoring spurt to open up a 56-40 lead with 9:03 on the clock. Ford nailed a triple in the run that included a Batson dunk.
EMU came back to creep within four points with 1:38 on the clock, but a key basket by rookie Sedric Nady (Chicago, Ill./Virginia Beach Landstown) repadded the lead for the Marlins, who stepped to the free throw line to keep the Royals at distance the rest of the way.
Astorga led all scoring with 15 points, followed by Ford and Nady with 13 points each and Teasley with 10. The Marlins hit eight triples, with five players hitting at least one each. VWC was also 14-of-19 from the charity stripes, led by Astorga with a 6-of-6 showing.
Andrew Thorne (Front Royal/Skyline) and Owen Longacre (Telford, Pa./Christopher Dock) led EMU with 12 points each, followed by R.J. Sims (Fort Washington, Md./Friendly) and Daniel with 10 points each. Daniel led all rebounding with 11.
Virginia Wesleyan competes again on Saturday, Feb. 9, in Greensboro, N.C., against the Quakers of Guilford College in ODAC action that begins at 3 p.m.