DOVER, Del. -- Right now Virginia Wesleyan College head men's basketball coach Dave Macedo isn't really concerned about falling out of the No. 1 national ranking.
After Thursday's 72-70 non-conference loss to Wesley, Macedo is more focused on finding the ways to put the Marlins back on track after back-to-back losses.
Thursday's loss to the Wolverines (9-4) was due in part to a scoreless span of nearly three minutes in the game after junior Colby Heard (Virginia Beach/Tallwood) hit a free throw to pull the Marlins (7-2) within a 54-49 score with 9:17 on the clock. The next time the Marlins scored was at 6:40 on a free throw by junior DJ Woodmore (Virginia Beach/Landstown). In between those freebies, VWC squandered the opportunity to possibly take the lead as the Marlins turned the ball over three times and missed three free throws.
Wesley, which has now posted three consecutive victories over Old Dominion Athletic Conference teams, Bridgewater and Eastern Mennonite before VWC, pushed out to a 62-52 with 4:53 on the clock.
But, Virginia Wesleyan put together a final charge, outscoring the Wolverines 15-4 to take a 67-66 lead on a three-point play by Woodmore with 1:05 on the clock.
Senior Chris Astorga (Suffolk/Virginia Beach Cape Henry Collegiate) helped spark the run with a pair of three pointers. Twelve seconds later Wesley took the lead for good when Quincy Pettiford (Portsmouth, Va./Concord, Del.) hit a jumper to push the Wolverines in front 68-67.
A turnover stopped VWC's chance to regain the lead and the Marlins were forced to foul to get the ball back in the waning seconds. Paul Reynolds (Wilmington, Del./Smyrna) nailed two free throws and Wesley led 70-67 with 23 seconds on the clock. Virginia Wesleyan missed a three-pointer on its following attempt to tie and sent Wesley to the free throw line again. This time Wayne Lennon (Whitesboro, N.J./Middle Township) hit both free throws and the host team led 72-67 with seven seconds remaining.
Woodmore nailed a triple with three seconds left to cut the spread to 72-70 and the Marlins forced a turnover to regain the ball. But, a shot with one second on the clock missed the mark and Wesley had the upset.
Woodmore led all scoring with 21 points, hitting 7-of-10 field goals, including 3-of-4 from three-point range. Astorga followed with 18 points, helped by a 4-of-7 showing from long range, and senior Chris Teasley (Newport News/Menchville) hit 3-of-5 triples en route to 15 points. VWC hit 10-of-23 triples overall.
Wesley dominated rebounding, 39-26, led by David Langan (Sayreville, N.J./War Memorial) with 10. He also led four Wolverines in double figure scoring with 19 points. Lennon finished with 12 points, followed by Reynolds with 11 and Anthony Bowers with 10.
Virginia Wesleyan takes a short break for the holidays before returning to action on Sunday, Dec. 30 in Atlanta. The Marlins will face the 7-2 Eagles of Emory at 2 p.m.