LEXINGTON, Va. — The Washington and Lee men's basketball team shot 51.9 percent from the field (27-52) to upend Virginia Wesleyan, 69-68, on Saturday at the Warner Center. It was the first victory for the Generals (10-9, 5-5 ODAC) over the Marlins (13-5, 9-1 ODAC) since December 2, 2001.
W&L led by one with 4:19 left in the game, before sophomore forward Patrick O'Connor (Richmond, Va./Douglas Freeman) drilled a three-pointer to push the lead to four, 59-55. Senior point guard Tré Ford (Falls Churg, Va./J.E.B. Stuart) netted a pair of free throws on the ensuing possession to get back with two.
A layup by senior forward J.D. Ey (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) pushed the advantage to 61-57 with 3:20 remaining. A couple of free throws by senior guard Chris Teasley (Newport News, Va./Warwick) made it a two-point game with just under three minutes on the clock.
After an offensive rebound by first-year forward Andrew Franz (Charlotte, N.C./Ravenscroft), O'Connor nailed a corner three, while being fouled, and connected on the ensuing free throw to stretch the lead to six, 65-59, at the 2:40 mark. Senior guard Kelton Buchanan (Powder Springs, Ga./Hillgrove) then notched two free throws to give the Generals an eight-point lead (67-59) with 2:18 on the clock.
VWC scored nine of the next 11 points, highlighted by a three and a layup by Teasley to get within one, 69-68, with 25 seconds left. After the layup, Teasley stole the ball as the Generals attempted to break the Marlins' press with 15 ticks left. Teasley looked to have an easy layup to take the lead, but Ey blocked the ball into the stands with 13 seconds on the clock. On the final possession, the Generals defense forced VWC into a long three-point attempt by Ford that missed wide left.
Franz led the Generals, coming close to a triple-double. He finished with 18 points (on 8-of-14 shooting), a career-high eight rebounds, and a career-high seven assists. Ey led the team with 20 points, and had eight rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals. O'Connor added 11 points and tied a career-high with six boards.
The Marlins jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the first four minutes of the opening half, but W&L responded with an 11-2 run over the next six minutes to take a 13-12 lead at the 9:49 mark. The two teams went back-and-forth over the final 10 minutes of the half, with the Generals taking a 27-26 lead into the break.
Along with their 51.9 percent shooting from the floor for the contest, the Generals went 4-of-11 (36.4 percent) from the three-point line and 11-of-16 (68.8 percent) from the charity stripe. VWC ended the game 22-of-63 (35.5 percent) from the field, 3-of-15 (20.0 percent) from long distance and 21-of-25 (84.0 percent) from the foul line.
The Marlins out-rebounded the Generals, 37-31, but W&L had 19 assists compared to eight for VWC. Senior forward Chris Astorga (Suffold, Va./Cape Henry Collegiate) led the Marlins with 21 points and seven rebounds. Teasley added 16 points and Ford recorded 10.
The victory ended a 23-game losing streak to the Marlins, and was the first home win over Virginia Wesleyan for the Generals since January 2, 2000. It also ended VWC's six-game winning streak dating back to January 5.
W&L heads back out on the road for its next game at Bridgewater on Wednesday at 7:00 pm.
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