Defense helps propel No. 10 VWC to big win over Washington and Lee

Defense helps propel No. 10 VWC to big win over Washington and Lee

SALEM, VA. -- A pressuring game of take-way guided the 10th-ranked Virginia Wesleyan College Marlins to an 81-53 victory over the Generals of Washington and Lee University in a Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) quarterfinal game on Thursday at the Civic Center.

Virginia Wesleyan's harassing defense helped to force Washington and Lee into 22 turnovers, the second highest total of the season for the Generals.  The quick-handed Marlins produced 16 steals en route to scoring 30 points off the miscues. Seniors Cameron Owens (Centreville/Centreville) and Greg Montgomery (Virginia Beach/Princess Anne) led the effort with five steals each.

Washington and Lee (11-16), which fell to the Marlins (22-4) for the third time this season, led briefly at 12-9 following back-to-back layups by ODAC Rookie of the Year Clayton Murtha (Dallas, Texas/Highland Park) and Andrew Franz (Charlotte, N.C./Ravenscroft).  VWC came back with a 7-0 run, keyed by a three-pointer from junior Nick Doyle (Franklin/Southampton) to push the Marlins into a 16-12 advantage.  VWC never trailed after that.

The Generals stayed close for several minutes thereafter and trailed only by four points after Andy Kleinlein (Chesterfield, Mo./Chaminade) hit a triple with 6:01 remaining in the first half.  It never got closer as sophomoreKhory Moore (Arlington/Wakefield School) answered with a trey, sparking a decisive 19-2 run to close the half with Virginia Wesleyan leading 44-23.

Moore nailed two triples in the big run, and Owens added another, but the most dramatic trey of the game was a buzzer beater from senior Breven Lyons (Newport News/Warwick).  With less than three seconds on the clock, Lyons took an inbounds pass and sprinted down the middle of the court. After two quick steps across midcourt, Lyons launched a triple that ripped through the net as the buzzer sounded.

Montgomery scored the first six points of the second half for the Marlins, who extended their lead to 27 points in the first three minutes.  Washington and Lee cut the deficit to 17 points at one point in the second half, but could not slow down VWC scoring.  Doyle hit a triple to give the Marlins' their largest lead at 81-53 with 2:10 remaining to be played.

Four Marlins scored in double figures, led by Moore with 17 points and Owens with 16.  Montgomery chipped in with 14 points and senior Brandon Mitchell (Albany, Ga./Westover) scored 11.  VWC connected on 9-of-21 triples, led by Owens with a 4-of-7 showing from behind the arc.

Virginia Wesleyan outrebounded the Generals 35-26, led by Montgomery with eight boards.

Murtha led Washington and Lee with 13 points and Darren Douglas tallied 10.