VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Virginia Wesleyan University men's basketball won an overtime thriller, 80-77, over Guilford Saturday afternoon in the Jane P. Batten Student Center. The Marlins improve to 2-2 on the year while picking up a win in their first Old Dominion Athletic Conference contest. Guilford drops to 3-3 on the season (0-1).
Much like the Marlins' previous three games, this one was a close contest throughout. With just 1:25 left in regulation the Marlins cut the Guilford lead to 68-66 as Tim Fisher knocked in two free throws. On the ensuing possession, R.J. Nicholson came up with a steal and was fouled on his way to the basket. The senior would calmly sink both free throws to tie the game with just one minute left. Guilford answered back though, dropping in a lay up at the 42-second mark and a free throw at the 26-second mark to go up three.
Coach Macedo would call a Marlin timeout to design a play for a three ball. On the inbounds the play was run but all options were guarded. That is when Nicholson took matters into his own hands. He caught the ball in the corner and drove hard baseline, rising up and dunking over his defender all while picking up the foul. With seven ticks left, he sank the free throw to force the overtime period.
In OT, the Marlins struck first with a nifty kiss off the glass by Fisher. They'd make a defensive stop and go up to possessions as Steward sank a bucket from mid-range. The teams would exchange buckets but Guilford would tie it up at 77-77 with just a minute to go. Steward broke the knot though as he made good on two free throws at the 55 minute mark. Another Steward free throw from the charity stripe and some solid defense would ice the game for the Marlins, earning them the win in their conference opener.
All five starters went for double digit scoring on the evening led by Fisher's 20 points. Keijon Honore and Steward would both chip in 17, while Nicholson collected 12. Rounding out the starting five was Percy Burt who had 10 points but registered a double-double as he hauled in 11 boards.
Men's basketball returns to action at 7 p.m. on Wednesday as the squad will travel to play Averett University.