Exciting Finish Carries Men's Basketball to 66-65 Victory over WildCats

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Exciting Finish Carries Men's Basketball to 66-65 Victory over WildCats

LYNCHBURG, Va. -- The Virginia Wesleyan College men's basketball team held Randolph College to one basket in the final two minutes Saturday afternoon to capture a 66-65 victory in Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) action.

The two teams went back and forth in the first 10 minutes of the game with Randolph leading 19-18 before the Marlins took control thanks to a 12-4 run that spanned five minutes for the 30-23 advantage. The WildCats finally ended the run at the 3:20 mark, but could not regain the lead before intermission.

The WildCats took the lead back for the first time in the second half when Jason Eddie's layup at 15:44 put the hosts up 41-40. The defenses continued to lock down the opposition over the next two minutes, allowing just free throws before a Josh Freund jumper put Randolph up 45-42. Another WildCat layup put the hosts up five points with 12:28 to play.

Virginia Wesleyan responded as Tim Jones knocked down a pair of baskets, sandwiching a layup by Aaron Sturdifen to knot the score at 48.

Both squads continued to exchange the lead with neither team assuming more than a two-point edge. Randolph led 62-60 with 2:51 to play when the Virginia Wesleyan defense would shut down the WildCats and claim victory for the Marlins.

Khory Moore missed a three on the Marlins next possession after the WildCats broke the tie. Sturdifen grabbed the rebound and was fouled, connecting on both free throws to even the score at 62. Moore stole the ball away from Corey Brown on Randolph's next possession, racing up the court for a fastbreak layup.

Randolph had three chances to tie, or take the lead, on its next possession, grabbing two offensive rebounds before the third miss was finally corralled by Tim Jones who was immediately fouled. Jones connected on both free throws for the 66-62 lead.

Zach Desgain knocked down a three-pointer from the right wing with one second left on the clock to cut the lead back to one, but the WildCats could not foul before time expired. Desgain's three was the first field goal for Randolph since the 2:51 mark when Brown hit a three for the WildCats.

Freund led Randolph (8-7/2-4) with 23 points and 12 rebounds while Desgain added 10 points, five rebounds and eight assists.

Moore led the Marlins with 15 points as Jones added 14. Sturdifen collected the first double-double of his career with 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.

Virginia Wesleyan (10-5/5-1) hosts Bridgewater College (3-10/2-3) in ODAC action Wednesday at 7 p.m.