VIRGINIA BEACH -- Nick Doyle didn't use up much time thinking about what to do with the basketball after a steal in Saturday's men's basketball game with the Wasps of Emory & Henry College.
The junior from Franklin (Northampton) fired the ball ahead to senior Greg Montgomery (Virginia Beach/Princess Anne) who completed a sprint to the basket with a powerful dunk that evoked one of the loudest roars of the night from the crowd assembled at the Jane P. Batten Student Center.
Montgomery's slam capped the first part of a two-part VWC scoring surge that shook off the Wasps for good in an 85-62 Old Dominion Athletic Conference victory for the No. 8 ranked Marlins (13-2, 5-1). After Brandon Self (Norfolk/Norfolk Collegiate) hit a jumper to pull the Wasps (2-13 1-5) within a 46-45 score, Virginia Wesleyan dominated thereafter with a 26-6 run that led to a 72-51 lead with 4:47 remaining to be played.
Doyle hit a jumper and seniors Breven Lyons (Newport News/Warwick) and Cam Owens (Centreville/Centreville) connected on back-to-back triples to start the first part of the VWC run the helped the Marlins pull away for good. Six Marlns scored in the 16-6 surge, led by Montgomery with four points.
Self came through again for Emory & Henry to pull the Wasps within a 62-51 score with 8:39 on the clock, but Virginia Wesleyan answered with the second part of the breakway. This one was a 10-0 run, led by Montgomery again with four points, leading to a 72-51 advantage for the Marlins with 4:47 remaining to be played.
Noah Walker (Bristol/Virginia High) and Myles Turner (Richmond/Thomas Dale) same through for scoring down the stretch for the Wasps, but Brandon Mitchell (Albany, Ga./Westover) and Doyles answered for the Marlins to help maintain the spread. Rookie Rahji Johnson (Clifton/Highland) hit a triple and Claude Clarke (Richmond/Henrico) hit a jumper to lead to VWC's largest lead of the game at 85-59.
Kevin Anzenberg (Concord, N.C./Jay M. Robinson) hit a triple in the first minute of the game to give Emory & Henry it's only lead of the contest. Sophomore Tim Jones (Richmond/Henrico) hit a trey for VWC which rolled out to a 20-8 lead, before Emory & Henry answered. Scoring by Self, Walker, Anzenberger, and Turner tightened the competition, as the Wasps took advantage of a cold shooting spell by the Marlins, who hit only 36% from the field, including only 4-of-15 shots from three-point range.
A triple by John Shelor (Giles/Giles) cut the VWC lead to 33-31 with 1:56 on the clock, but Jones and Montgomery scored for the Marlins to lead the host team to a 37-33 lead at halftime. The Wasps started strong in the second half, outscoring the Marlins 12-9 behind seven points from Self, but Virginia Wesleyan found the scoring it needed after Self's jumper pulled E&H within a 46-45 score.
Virginia Wesleyan finished with five players in double digit scoring, led by sophomore Khory Moore (Arlington/Wakefield School) with 14 points and Mitchell with a career-high 13 points. Montgomery and Lyons added 12 points each and Owens tallied 10. Turner led Emory & Henry with 18 points, while Turner finished with 17.
VWC overcame the cold first half from three-point range to hit 6-of-14 treys in the second half. Lyons led the way, connecting on 3-of-5 attempts.
Virginia Wesleyan's overall efforts were helped by a domineering effort on the backboards, outrebounding Emory & Henry 53-24. Mitchell led board play with a career-high 11 rebounds, followed by Moore with eight. Self led the Wasps with 13 rebounds.
Virginia Wesleyan returns to competition on Wednesday, Jan. 21, in Ashland, Va., facing the league-leading Yellow Jackets of Randolph-Macon College at 7 p.m.