Doyle's Game Winner Leads Marlins to 71-68 OT Victory

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Doyle's Game Winner Leads Marlins to 71-68 OT Victory

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Senior Nick Doyle connected on a three-pointer from the top of the key with 7.1 seconds remaining in overtime Saturday afternoon as the No. 18 ranked Marlins defeated Emory University 71-68 in non-conference action.

Emory led 34-21 at halftime while outshooting the Marlins 59.1% to 26.5%. The Eagles scored the first 10 points of the contest and led 21-7 before the Marlins starting cutting into the deficit.

Virginia Wesleyan started to whittle away the gap late in the second half. Trailing 56-47 with 5:04 to play, the Marlins went on an 11-3 run to set up the last minute heroics. Nick Doyle had seven points during the run while Khalil Barnette added four points and two assists. Barnette capped the run with a layup with 27 seconds left, pulling the Marlins within a point, 58-57. Barnette was fouled on the play, but could not convert the free throw, forcing the Marlins to foul.

Emory struggled to close the game, missing the front end of the 1-and-1, but grabbed the offensive rebound, resulting in another foul. Davis Rao connected on both attempts to put the Eagles up 61-58 with 21 seconds to play.

Virginia Wesleyan moved the ball around, ultimately getting it in the hands of Kaelin Poe who fed Justin Watson for the game-tying three-pointer with 12 seconds remaining. The tie was the first of the game as Emory led the first 39:48 of the contest.

Emory had an opportunity at a layup with two seconds left in regulation, but the attempt rimmed out to send the game to overtime.

The Eagles jumped in front early in the extra session on a layup by Will Trawick before the Marlins closed late once again.

VWC was looking at a 66-63 deficit with 2:24 to play when Aaron Studifen knocked down a free throw in his first game back from injury. An empty possession for the Eagles sent the Marlins racing again where a Sturdifen layup off a Poe assist knotted the game with 1:33 to go.

Barnette added to his strong game on the next Emory possession, swiping the ball away from Whit Rapp, later finding Doyle for a go-ahead jumper with 50 seconds to play, VWC's first lead of the afternoon.

Emory tied it up at 68 with 35 seconds to play on a jumper by Jonathan Terry to set the stage for Doyle.

Virginia Wesleyan took the ball up the court, not rushing with time remaining on the clock. Good ball movement broke down the strong Emory defense just enough for Doyle to find a couple inches of space at the top of the key. Doyle raised up and let go from two feet behind the arc, knocking down the three to win the game.

Adam Gigax led Emory (7-4) with 16 points while Rao added 15 points and seven rebounds. Rapp finished with 10 assists as Austin DaGue added a team-high eight rebounds.

Doyle led the way for the Marlins with 19 points, five rebounds and six assists. He shot 8-of-10 from the field in the second half to lead the comeback after an 0-for-7 showing in the opening period. Watson posted 11 points and five rebounds while Sturdifen finished with nine points and seven caroms.

Virginia Wesleyan (7-4/2-0 ODAC) travels to Shenandoah University (3-8/0-2) Wednesday for a 7 p.m. Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) start.