from Jon Cole with Presto Sports:
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Liam Ward had a double-double performance that included 24 points and 17 rebounds, leading four Guilford players in double figures as the Quaker’s men’s basketball team opened the 2020-21 slate with a decisive 80-60 win over ODAC foe Randolph on Monday, February 8 in Lynchburg, Va.
Ward capped off his double-double performance by converting 10-of-19 from the floor (52.6%), connecting on a pair of 3-pointers in the process. He climbed the glass for 17 rebounds, pulling down 10 on the defensive end, while adding three steals and two assists in 29 minutes of action.
Joining Ward among the scoring leaders in the Quakers’ opener were Jaylen Gore (15 points), Tyler Dearman (14) and Jorden Davis (14). That group led Guilford to hitting 31-of-73 (42.5%) from the floor, 10-of-37 (27%) from beyond the arc and 8-of-13 (61.5%) at the charity stripe.
With the presence of Ward in the paint, along with six rebounds each from Dearman and Joah Logan, Guilford finished the game with a decisive 52-31 edge on the glass. The Quakers grabbed 30 defensive boards.
Leading by nine points entering the second half, Guilford used of a series of free throws by Ward to grab a 48-37 lead at the 18:19 mark. Dearman followed with a layup and Davis connected on a jumper to keep the Quakers lead in double figures, 52-40, ahead of the first media timeout.
While limiting Randolph to just two points, the Quakers capitalized on a series of 3-pointers from Jordan Wallis and Chandler Tuten to establish a 62-42 lead at the 11:36 mark of the second half. The Wildcats briefly trimmed the lead to 15, but a trey from Dearman coupled with a layup by Ward allowed Guilford to move in front 67-47.
The Wildcats would pull no closer than 20 points throughout the remainder of the game. However, Guilford assumed its largest lead, 25 points, with 1:12 remaining when Eric Wiles knocked down a pair of free throws to give the Quakers an 80-55 advantage.
Trailing 7-2 inside the first three minutes of the game, Guilford took advantage of a layup by Ward and a 3-pointer from Davis to pull even at seven-all at the 16:09 mark. The combination of Gore, Ward and Davis forged the Quakers in front 15-7 just over a minute later as the offense settled into its rhythm.
Guilford took its first double-digit lead of the game, 19-9, on a layup by Dearman at the 13:17 mark of the first half. The Wildcats would eventually trim the deficit to seven, 23-16, following a jumper by Danny Bickey, but Jordan Walls knocked down a 3-pointer with 8:33 left in the frame to stretch the lead back to 10.
Just over a minute later, with Randolph trailing 27-22 following a layup by Avery Payne, the Quakers turned to the trio of Dearman, Davis and Ward, who combined for the next seven points and a 34-22 advantage. Guilford surrendered just 13 points over the next seven minutes, while taking advantage of 12 points of its own, to close out the first half with a 46-35 lead.
The Quakers return to the court on Thursday, Feb. 11, when they take on Emory & Henry at 7 p.m. For more information check out www.guilfordquakers.com.