SALEM, Va. – Third-seeded Virginia Wesleyan used a 14-5 late second half run to pull away for an 85-80 victory over sixth-seeded Washington and Lee in the quarterfinals of the ODAC Men’s Basketball Tournament on Friday evening at the Salem Civic Center.
The Generals (17-10) took a 24-21 lead on a three-pointer by sophomore guard Kyle Bond (Boxborough, Mass./Brimmer & May) with 7:32 left in the first half and didn’t trail again until the 11th-ranked Marlins (22-4) took a short-lived one-point lead (43-42) with 15:51 left in the contest. W&L wrestled the lead back just 21 seconds later on a layup by senior forward Andrew Payne (Charleston, W.Va./George Washington) and led 54-51 following a three-pointer by junior guard Jason Cimino (Branchburg, N.J./Immaculata) at the 10:43 mark.
VWC senior guard Stephen Fields drilled a three-pointer to tie the score on the next possession and ignite the Marlins’ run that turned a three-point deficit into a six-point lead (65-59) with 6:49 left in the game. The Virginia Wesleyan lead swelled to as many as 10 points (77-67) with 1:08 left in the contest, but the Generals went on a 10-3 run over the next 26 seconds to cut it to an 80-77 game with 42 seconds remaining. From there, the Marlins hit 5-of-6 free throws to hold on for the 85-80 win, their 18th-straight victory over W&L.
Senior forward Ben Goetsch (Timonium, Md./Gilman) led W&L with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Cimino scored a career-high 18 points and tied a career-high with six rebounds. Payne finished with 11 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Fields paced Virginia Wesleyan with 30 points on 11-of-11 shooting from the free throw line. He also totaled nine rebounds, three assists and three steals. First-year guard Chris Teasley registered 19 points, while first-year forward Chris Astorga posted 12 markers. Sophomore forward Donald Vaughn added 11 points and six rebounds.
W&L’s season ends following its most victories since the 1988-89 campaign. Virginia Wesleyan advances to the semifinals, where it will take on second-seeded Guilford on Saturday at 8:00 pm.
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