VIRGINIA BEACH -- Fans in attendance at Saturday's men's basketball game at Virginia Wesleyan College were trying to figure out if it was colder outside more than it was inside the Jane P. Batten Student Center.
The overall indoor temperature was fine, but the shooting effort by the host Marlins was somewhat chilly during VWC's 73-60 Old Dominion Athletic Conference victory over the visiting Generals of Washington and Lee University. It was an outcome that marked the 325th career win for VWC head coach Dave Macedo.
No. 8 VWC (11-2, 3-1) had all the shots it wanted, launching 66 attempts as compared to 38 by the Generals (4-9, 1-3), and while many made it to the rim, many refused to drop for the Marlins. VWC hit only 39% from the field in the first half and finished at 40.9% for the game.
That chilly touch extended to the charity lines where the Marlins entered the game as the No. 1 free throw shooting team in the ODAC, but managed to connect on just 12-of-25 attempts.
Washington and Lee enjoyed a warmer afternoon from the field, particularly in the second half when the Generals connected on a 58.8% clip. Andrew Franz (Charlotte, N.C./Ravenscroft) and Andy Kleinlein (Chesterfield, Mo./Chaminade) combined for a 4-of-4 showing from the field en route to 15 points in the second half, but it only dented VWC's lead.
The Marlins, who outscored the Generals 5-0 in the final 1:41 of the first half to take a 35-26 lead at halftime, used another 5-0 spurt to open the second half and expand the VWC lead to 40-29. Scoring by Michael Hegar (Cary, N.C./GRACE Christian) and Clayton Murtha (Dallas, Texas/Highland Park0 helped W&L to cut the lead to a single digit a couple of times before sophomore Khory Moore (Arlington/Wakefield School) drilled through back-to-back triples to send VWC into a 49-34 lead with 13:06 on the clock.
VWC's lead expanded to 63-43 in the next few minutes due in part to the effort of senior Breven Lyons (Newport News/Warwick) who warmed up to score eight of his total 13 points in a three minute span. A steal by Cameron Owens (Centreville/Centreville) led to a layup by Kaelin Poe (Hampton/Kecoughtan) seconds later to give the Marlins their largest lead of the game at 63-43 with 8:25 remaining to be played.
Joe Sherwood (Madison, N.J./Seton Hall), Nicholas George (Charleston, W.Va./Catholic), and Patrick O'Connor (Richmond/Douglas S. Freeman) came through with some timely points down the stretch for Washington and Lee, but the Generals never got closer than 11 points the rest of the way.
Washington and Lee led once in the contest, 17 seconds into competition when Murtha hit one of two free throws to give the Generals a 1-0 advantage. But, senior Greg Montgomery (Virginia Beach/Princess Anne) and Owens scored seven straight point to give the lead to VWC for the remainder of the game.
Senior Brandon Mitchell (Albany, Ga./Westover) and sophomore Aaron Sturdifen (Chesapeake/Hickory) produced key scoring for the Marlins to help keep the Generals at bay midway through the half. Mitchell scored five points, highlighted by a triple, and Sturdifen took over inside to score six straight points and all eight of his total points in a span of three minutes that led to a 29-21 VWC lead with 3:56 before halftime.
Nine Marlins scored overall, led by Ownes with 14 points. Moore and Lyons tallied 13 points each. Montgomery contributed with points, but recorded game-high totals of eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Murtha finished with 13 points for the Generals, who received 10 points each from Kleinlein, Franz, and Sherwood. Jok Asiyo (Stroudsburg, Pa./Pocono Mountain East) pulled down seven rebounds for the Generals.
VWC returns to competition on Wednesday, Jan. 14, motoring to Winchester, Va., to face the Hornets of Shenandoah University in ODAC action beginning at 7 p.m.