VWC Ends W&L Men's Basketball's Cinderella Run
SALEM, Va. – Senior guard D.J. Woodmore and senior forward Colby Heard each scored 23 points to help lead second-seeded Virginia Wesleyan to a 74-60 win over 11th-seeded Washington and Lee in the semifinals of the ODAC men's basketball tournament on Saturday evening at the Salem Civic Center.
The Generals (8-20) hung tight with the heavily-favored Marlins (21-6) until VWC closed the first half with an 8-2 run that turned a one-point game (27-26) into a seven-point (35-28) halftime advantage.
Virginia Wesleyan hit each of its first four shots from the floor in the second half to open a 45-30 lead just 1:58 into the second stanza. First-year guard Khory Moore hit a pair of layups, while Woodmore and sophomore guard Sedric Nady each hit from beyond the arc during the 10-2 run to start the half.
Despite 53.3 percent (16-30) shooting from the field in the second half, the Marlins simply couldn't shake the Generals, who trailed just 53-45 following a layup by senior forward Drew Kimberly (Fairfield, Conn. / Fairfield Ludlowe) with 12:36 left in the game. Woodmore stretched the lead back to 14 points (68-54) following a triple at the 4:38 mark and the Generals couldn't mount a late-game run.
W&L shot 48.0 percent (12-25) in the second half and 44.7 percent (21-47) for the game. However, the Marlins held a 35-27 advantage on the boards and forced 17 General turnovers.
Kimberly led the way with 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the floor. He also grabbed seven rebounds. Sophomore forward Andrew Franz (Charlotte, N.C. / Ravenscroft) notched 17 points, five rebounds and five assists, while senior guard Kevin Gill (Richmond, Va. / Benedictine) tallied 16 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Heard notched 11 rebounds to go along with his 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting, while Woodmore corralled seven boards. Moure added 10 points, four rebounds and three steals.
Virginia Wesleyan advances to Sunday's championship game, where it will meet eighth-seeded Hampden-Sydney. W&L's season comes to an end following its first appearance in the semifinals since 2009.