VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Senior guard Devin Kearns (Cibolo, Texas/Samuel Clemens) notched a career-high 28 points, but the Washington and Lee men's basketball team's second-half rally fell short in an 87-77 loss at Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday.
The Marlins (4-2, 2-0 ODAC) held a 43-37 lead at intermission, and extended the margin to 49-41 by the 17:09 mark on a three-pointer by senior guard Rahji Johnson. Following a timeout, sophomore guard William Brueggeman (Houston, Texas/Strake Jesuit College Prep) converted a layup, and then first-year guard Mark Lamendola (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) drained a triple to pull the Genreals (4-3, 0-2 ODAC) to within three (49-46).
The 5-0 run forced a VWU timeout, and out of the break, the Marlins answered with an 8-0 spurt, capped on an old-fashioned three-point play by senior guard Keijon Honore, to stretch their advantage to double digits, 57-46.
With 9:39 remaining in the contest, the Blue and White trailed, 65-55, but a three-pointer by Brueggeman and a layup by Kearns trimmed the deficit to 65-60 at the 8:32 mark. Following a VWU turnover, Kearns made a driving layup to extend the run to 7-0 and bring W&L to within three (65-62) with 7:52 on the clock.
The squads exchanged buckets over the next four possessions, but then a triple from Honore gave the Marlins a 72-66 edge with 5:46 remaining in the game. Sophomore forward Curtis Mitchell (Chevy Chase, Md./Georgetown Prep) responded on the next trip down with a three of his own to trim the margin to 72-69.
The gap remained three (74-71) with 4:08 to go in the contest, but senior guard R.J. Nicholson converted back-to-back three-point plays to give VWU a nine-point cushion (80-71) with three minutes to go in the game. The Blue and White did not get closer than seven points the rest of the way, as the Marlins held on for the 10-point win.
Kearns registered his career high on 10-of-20 shooting, including 6-of-9 from the field and a perfect 7-of-7 from the foul line in the second half. Senior forward Roy McMillan (Raleigh, N.C./Broughton) registered a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Brueggeman added 12 points, and Mitchell had 11 points and nine rebounds.
W&L was just 6-of-24 (25.0 percent) from long range in the contest, while VWU made 10-of-24 attempts (41.7 percent) from beyond the arc. The Marlins also held a 52-40 advantage on the glass.
Nicholson led Virginia Wesleyan with 20 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore forward Tim Fisher tallied 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Honore contributed 14 points and six assists.
The Generals return to action on Wednesday, when they host Bridgewater at 7:00 pm.
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