VIRGINIA BEACH -- Anyone wondering how Virginia Wesleyan College's men's basketball team would make up for all the points lost through graduation last year won't have to spend much time thinking about it any longer.
No. 19 Virginia Wesleyan combined a dazzling display of three-point shooting and balanced scoring overall en route to registering a 91-60 victory over the Lions of the College of New Jersey in the second game of the Marlins Tip-Off Tournament at the Jane P. Batten Student Center.
Six VWC players scored in double figures, led by senior Greg Montgomery (Virginia Beach/Princess Anne) with 14 points, and seven hit at least one three point shot as the Marlins set a program record by hitting 18 triples overall. That broke the previous record of 17 set twice last season against Newport News Apprentice School and Guilford College.
The Marlins' first half of long-range shooting was torrid, as VWC hit 14-of-19 attempts overall, led by three each from senior Breven Lyons (Newport News/Warwick) and sophomore Tim Jones (Richmond/Henrico). The Marlins hit five in row, two by Moore sandwiched around one each from Andre' Banks (Chesapeake/Great Bridge), Nick Doyle (Franklin/Southampton), and Lyons, to get things rolling in the half.
Alert play produced 14 assists and seven steals for VWC in the first half, while TCNJ struggled to get its offense working. The Lions turned the ball over 17 times in the half and trailed 56-26 at halftime.
Second half play began much differently for the Lions however, as they began to find the open players for scores and put enough defensive pressure on Virginia Wesleyan to break up the Marlins' consistency. It resulted in a valiant rally in the first eight minutes of the half that helped TCNJ to cut the deficit to 60-45.
Bobby Bracket, a 6-foot-6 forward who earned All-New Jersey Athletic Conference first team honors last year, helped spark the brief rally by scoring 10 points. The Lions never got closer however, as Montgomery scored six points in an 11-0 run that pushed Virginia Wesleyan into a 71-45 advantage with 8:52 remaining to be played.
Jayson Johnson hit a jumper to end the VWC run, but Cameron Owens (Centreville/Centreville) nailed a triple and Brandon Mitchell (Albany, Ga./Westover) followed with a jumper and Virginia Wesleyan continued to build its lead to the end.
VWC's final total of 91 points is the third highest total scored in 14-year history of tournament.
Brackett led all scoring and rebounding with 20 points and 15 caroms. Johnson was the only other TCNJ player in double figure scoring, finishing with 15 points.
Virginia Wesleyan advances to Sunday's 3 p.m. championship game to take on Newport News Apprentice School which potsed an 82-66 win over Delaware Valley College to improve to 3-0 overall. DVC and TCNJ will square off in the 1 p.m. game.