VIRGINIA BEACH — Virginia Wesleyan College’s No. 2 ranked men’s basketball team got another lesson in the always expect the unexpected workbook.
Just two nights after holding off Methodist University by nine points on the road, the Marlins were at it again staving off an upset bid at home from the Maroons of Roanoke College. VWC won 73-67, but the Maroons did not make it easy in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
Sophomore Greg Montgomery (Norfolk/Virginia Beach Princess Anne) hit a jumper to give the Marlins (4-0, 1-0) their largest lead of the game a 68-59 with 5:24, but Roanoke (4-1, 0-1) was not ready to go away. The Maroons came on strong down the stretch, out-scoring VWC 7-2 to pull within a 70-67 score with 1:13 on the clock.
Virginia Wesleyan worked the clock in the final minute and came up with a big offensive rebound by senior Tre’ Ford (Falls Church/J.E.B. Stuart) to keep possession with the Marlins. Roanoke fouled to try to get the ball back, but Chris Teasley (Newport News/Menchville) nailed a pair of free throws to rebuild the VWC lead to 72-67 before the Maroons got the ball.
After a Roanoke timeout, the Maroons turned the ball over and Ford hit one of two free throws at the other end of the court to provide the final margin of victory for VWC at 73-67.
Roanoke led most of the first half, taking advantage of a slow Virginia Wesleyan start marred by turnovers. The Maroons led 23-18 following a triple by senior Jordan Thacker (Waynesboro/Stuarts Draft), before VWC came to life at both ends of the court. The Marlins put together a 12-1 scoring run to open up a 30-24 lead , led by Chris Astorga (Suffolk/Virginia Beach Cape Henry Collegiate) and Trent Batson (Lewes, Del./Cape Henlopen) with four points each.
But, Roanoke rallied in the final two minutes behind senior Kwasi Amponsah (Woodbridge/Garfield) and sophomore Julian Ramierz (Palmya/Ford Union), to pull with a 34-32 score at halftime.
Roanoke started the second half the same way it ended the first, notching timely scores that helped the Maroons to own the edge through the first six minutes, which included four ties. Two free throws by Cameron Owens (Centreville/Centreville) tied the game at 46 for the Marlins, who took the lead for good seconds later on a three-point play by Ford.
Big triples from Teasley and Batson followed to help the Marlins create some distance from the Maroons, with the largest spread coming at 68-59 with 5:24 remaining in the game.
Teasley finished as the game’s leading scorer with 23 points, hitting 9-of-12 from the field, including a pair of triples. Ford and Astorga added 12 points each. Ford contributed to the win with seven assists and Batson recorded a game-high five blocks.
Ramirez led Roanoke scoring with 20 points, hitting 7-of-11 shots, and Amponsah followed with 19 points, helped by a 10-of-12 showing from the free throw lines.
VWC out-rebounded Roanoke 38-33, led by Batson with eight boards. Cameron Smith (Lexington, N.C./Northeast Guilford) led Roanoke on the boards with nine. Rameriz finished with five steals.
Virginia Wesleyan returns to competition on Sunday, Dec. 2, hosting the Bobcats of Frostburg State University in a non-conference contest beginning at 2 p.m. at the Batten Center.