VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Virginia Wesleyan University men's basketball team battled nationaly-ranked Randolph-Macon to the brink before falling, 72-67, in the final minutes Thursday evening at the Jane P. Batten Student Center. With the result, the Marlins go to 5-8 on the season and take their first conference loss (3-1). No. 15 Randolph-Macon improves to 13-1 and remain unbeaten in ODAC play (5-0).
A battle from start to finish, the Marlins seemed to hold an edge in the first half. VWU hit 3-pointers in three-straight possessions to increase their lead to seven and a Tyree Golston 3-pointer near the halfway point of the period put them up 20-10. The lead would hold until the five-minute mark as the Yellow Jackets slowly began to chip away. A Keijon Honore tre with just six ticks left put the Marlins up 39-32 going into halftime.
In the second half, both teams were feeling it from distance. R.J. Nicholson had three from beyond the arc over the course of the first nine minutes, but Macon continued to chip away, taking their first of the second half at the 13:18 mark. Neck-and-neck, the lead changed three more times going down the stretch with the Marlins up five with just under three minutes to go. Unfortunately, that would be the last time the Marlins would score and the Yellow Jackets would capitalize to keep their conference record clean.
Four players went for double-digit scoring, including a team-high 14 from Lamont Steward. Keijon Honore would pitch in 12 while Nicholson cashed in 11. In his first game of the season, Golston impressed with 11 off the bench.
Men's basketball will hit the court again at 2 p.m. on Saturday as the squad takes on Randolph in the Wildcats' gymnasium.