VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Virginia Wesleyan University men's basketball team took down Greensboro College, 75-74, in the first game of the TowneBank Tip-Off Tournament at the Friday night. With the win, the Marlins improve to 1-0 on the year while the Pride slide to 1-1.
It came down to the final minutes in the Jane P. Batten Student Center as the teams were neck-and –neck for the duration of the contest. Down 71-71 at the 1:15 mark, the Marlins made a nice defensive stand which led to a fast break. Junior Lamont Steward drove hard to the basket to put VWU back on top with a lay up. Greensboro answered quickly though, drawing a foul and converting both shots from the charity stripe. A missed shot by the Marlins gave the Pride the ball back and forced VWU to foul with 27 seconds to go. This time, the Pride player missed both shots giving VWU the ball with a chance at the last shot. After a timeout, the ball was fed in to Tim Fisher, who beat his man one-on-one in the paint, finishing a lay-up and drawing a foul. Up a single point, Fisher made his way to the line with 6.2 seconds and a shot to go up two. Fisher missed but a determined Percy Burt fought for the offensive board, icing the game and sealing up a Marlin win in their season-opener.
As a team, the Marlins saw four players reach double-digit points. Burt led the charge with a team-high 18 and was followed closely by Keijon Honore who registered 17. Also chipping in were Steward and Fisher who each finished the day with 14.
The Marlins also dominated the glass, outrebounding the Pride by a margin of 49 to 35. Burt and Fisher were both just one board shy from a double-double, pacing the Marlins with nine each. Helping on the defense was Steward who set a new career-high with four blocks.
Men's basketball will now play in the TowneBank Tip-Off Tournament Championship game at 3 p.m. on Saturday where they will square off against St. John Fisher College who defeated Messiah, 81-74, in their first game of the year.