VIRGINIA BEACH -- It was definitely the kind of start that the Lynchburg College men's basketball team hoped for against the No. 6 ranked Virginia Wesleyan College Marlins on Saturday.
After nearly six minutes of competition at VWC's Jane P. Batten Student Center, the Hornets owned a 12-4 lead and momentum in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference contest.
But, the host Marlins shook off a lethargic start with a monster dunk by senior Greg Montgomery (Virginia Beach/Princess Anne) and dominated thereafter en route to a 78-55 victory. VWC (14-3, 6-2) exploded for a 31-4 scoring run in 11 minutes to erase Lynchburg's lead and take control for good with a 35-16 lead with 3:36 remaining in the first half.
Lynchburg (10-7, 3-5) connected on 5-of-10 field goals to open the game, before VWC's defense started to take hold to force 10 Hornet turnovers in the first half. Eight were steals by the Marlins, including four by sophomore Khory Moore (Arlington/Wakefield School), as Lynchburg could not regenerate any consistency offensively.
Virginia Wesleyan went on to posted a 40-19 halftime lead, hitting 11-of-20 field goal attempts to help outscore Lynchburg 36-5 after the 14:37 mark of the first half. The Hornets hit only 3-of-25 attempts in that time.
The Marlins aided their cause by connecting on 6-of-13 three-point shots in the half, as five different VWC players hit from long range. Moore led the effort with two. VWC added three more triples in the second half to help maintain a comfortable lead, as sophomore Tim Jones (Richmond/Herico) and senior Breven Lyons (Newport News/Warwick) also finished with two triples each.
Omar Kemp (Fredericksburg/Riverbend), Daniel Rowe (Roanoke/Hidden Valley), and Alex Graves (Waynesboro/Waynesboro) picked up the scoring pace for Lynchburg in the second half, but not enough to gain much ground on the Marlins. VWC stretched its lead to 25 points several times throughout the second half.
Both head coaches utilized their benches as 34 players eventually logged time in the game. Moore emerged as the game's leading scorer, netting 17 points, followed by Montgomery with 16 and Jones with 14. Lyons tallied nine. Montgomery also pulled down 11 rebounds to help record his seventh double-double of the season, one of the leading marks in the nation.
Graves shared game-high rebounding totals with Montgomery, also pulling down 11 rebounds, while leading the Hornets in scoring with 14 points. He was the only Lychnburg player to hit double figures. Kemp aided the Hornets with seven points, five rebounds and three blocks.
VWC returns to competition Wednesday, Jan. 28, traveling to Lynchburg, Va., to face with WildCats of Randolph College in an ODAC game beginning at 7 p.m.