College Men’s Basketball Final – Guilford 63, #2 Randolph-Macon 54:Quakers upset Top Team in the ODAC Conference/Guilford holds top RM Yellowjackets’ scorer Buzz Anthony to just 4 points

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Jorden Davis scored a game-high 22 points in Guilford College’s 63-54 men’s basketball upset of second-ranked Randolph-Macon College Saturday.

The Quakers (18-7, 10-6 ODAC) held the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC)-leading Yellow Jackets (23-2, 15-1 ODAC) to 36 percent field-goal goal shooting to snap their 11-game winning streak. Randolph-Macon entered the game ranked second in this week’s Top 25 Poll, first in the NCAA Division III South Region Rankings, and owner of the top seed in next week’s ODAC Tournament.

“I can’t say enough about these guys,” Quakers’ coach Tom Palombo said. “Things weren’t looking good after we lost to Ferrum (on February 5) and these guys have really turned it around.”

Guilford’s fourth straight win gained a split of the season series with Randolph-Macon and secured the fourth seed for next week’s ODAC Tournament. The Quakers will play fifth-seeded Roanoke College in a quarterfinal contest Friday, February 28 at 3:00 p.m. in the Salem (Virginia) Civic Center.

Randolph-Macon entered Saturday’s game with a 20.2 points per game scoring margin and dealt the Quakers a 64-39 setback January 19 in Ashland, Virginia. However, Guilford did have some history on its side. The Quakers had won five of the previous seven meetings between the two schools, including a win over the fifth-ranked Yellow Jackets in the 2019 ODAC Tournament final. Guilford also had a previous upset of the nation’s number-two team this season. The Quakers downed Emory University on a buzzer-beating three-pointer December 30 in Atlanta.

Davis scored 10 first-half points and helped the Quakers open a 30-24 halftime advantage. Randolph-Macon had a 15-9 lead seven-and-a-half minutes into the game, but the Quakers rallied and tied the game at 17-17 on a Davis three-pointer. Tyler Dearman’s triple 68 seconds before halftime opened a 30-22 margin and capped a 16-5 Guilford run. The Yellow Jackets made just one-of-seven shots from the floor in that decisive seven-minute stretch.

A Davis free throw with 6:57 left in regulation established a 53-38 Quakers’ lead as Randolph-Macon struggled to score. The Yellow Jackets battled back behind three straight Corey Bays’ three-pointers, which got the visitors to within 55-49 with 3:14 left. The rally stalled, however, as Guilford yielded only one field goal the rest of the way, a Korey Turner three-pointer with 46 seconds left. The Quakers stifled reigning ODAC Player of the Year Buzz Anthony, who scored a season-low four points on 1-of-8 shooting from the floor before fouling out with a minute left.

“Buzz is an unbelievable player,” Palombo said. “We were trying to make it tough on him, make him uncomfortable, and not let him do what he wants to do. It’s really tough to do that, but I thought our guys did.”

Davis made just 4-of-13 shots for Guilford, but was 11-of-12 from the free-throw line. He drew eight fouls and recorded a team-high three steals. Teammate Liam Ward added 10 points. Senior Kyler Gregory finished with seven points and a game-best nine rebounds in his final regular-season home game. Gore added six points, a game-high six assists, no turnovers, and spent a good part of the game defending Anthony. Dearman tallied six points and eight boards, which helped the Quakers to a 44-26 rebounding edge.

Bays paced Randolph-Macon with 14 points thanks to a game-high four three-pointers. Freshman teammate Miles Mallory added 10 points and three rebounds. While Anthony was not a scoring threat, he did contribute three rebounds, six assists, and a game-high five steals.

“They’re a very good defensive team,” Palombo said. “They make things difficult. It’s tough to get clean looks against them. We were just trying to do it right back to them and fortunately we were able to do that.”

Photos by Andy Gore
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Courtesy of Dave Walters
Guilford College Athletics