SALEM, Va. – Freshmen Jaylen Gore (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford) and Kyler Gregory (Yadkinville, N.C./Starmount) scored 13 points apiece in Guilford College’s 64-54 victory over Emory & Henry College in Sunday’s Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Men’s Basketball Tournament final.
Tournament Most Valuable Player Carson Long (Pilot Mountain, N.C./East Surry) added 11 points and four blocks to help Guilford clinch its third ODAC title and its fourth NCAA Division III playoff berth. The Quakers (23-5) also won the league in 2008 and 2010.
P.J. Stephens’ (Durham, N.C./Ravenscroft) jumper with 12:37 left in regulation broke the game’s fifth and final tie. It also triggered a decisive 8-0 run capped by a Gore jumper with 9:19 remaining. The spurt provided just enough cushion to hold off the Wasps’ (20-8) rally, sparked by Myles Turner, who scored all of his team-high 10 points in the final seven minutes.
Turner’s three-pointer with 1:33 left brought Emory & Henry to within 57-51 with 1:33 left. The Wasps’ fouled Guilford’s Zachary Houston three times in the final 1:42 and the senior made five of six free throws, twice in a one-and-one situation. He rebounded the one free throw he missed, which led to two free throws by Long with 62 seconds left that essentially iced the game. The Quakers ended the game by making nine of 12 free throws, while the Wasps missed their final three shots, all three-point attempts, in the final 75 seconds.
Gore, who joined Long and Dominique Henderson (Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek (Catawba)) as Guilford’s all-tournament selections, made five-of-10 shots from the floor in the second-highest scoring game of his young career. Gregory came off the bench to make four-of-eight shots, including a three-pointer, in a career-high scoring effort. He made all four free throws and also grabbed four rebounds in 14 minutes. Houston finished with five points, a game-high nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. Guilford won the battle of the boards for the 26th time in 28 games, 39-27, and scored 13 second-chance points off of 14 offensive rebounds.
Turner’s 10 points and nine boards led Emory & Henry. Clif Conley and John Shelor both made three three-pointers and added nine points apiece. Chase Branscomb (4 points) and Aaron Ferguson (8 points) were Emory & Henry’s all-tournament picks.
Coach Tom Palombo’s Quakers await Monday’s (2/27) announcement of the 2017 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament field, which will be streamed on line at www.ncaa.com/liveschedule.
Photos from Andy Gore