Fast start carries No. 3 Virginia Wesleyan to win over Methodist
VIRGINIA BEACH -- Virginia Wesleyan College's No. 3-ranked Marlins displayed speed, balance and depth early Tuesday in building momentum toward a 94-62 non-conference victory over Methodist University's Monarchs at the Jane P. Batten Student Center.
Less than eight minutes into the contest, the Monarchs (3-4) found themselves trailing 21-6. Five minutes after that, the team from Fayetteville, N.C., was on the short end of a 40-10 score.
Seven Marlins helped spark the break-away start, led by junior Chris Teasley (Newport News, Va./Menchville) with 13 points. Senior Donald Vaughn (Woodbridge, Va./Dumfries Potomac) added another eight and junior Chris Astorga (Suffolk, Va./Virginia Beach Cape Henry Collegiate) tallied six.
Methodist, which had a three-game winning streak by the loss, never got closer than 21 points the remainder of the game. Virginia Wesleyan led 46-24 at halftime and posted its largest lead at 94-51 after junior Jordan Griggs (Chesapeake, Va./Hickory) hit a free throw with 3:18 remaining to be played.
Junior Tre' Ford (Falls Church, Va./J.E.B. Stuart) emerged as the sparkplug for Virginia Wesleyan throughout the game. He scored seven points and pulled down six rebounds, but more importantly helped to guide an offense that saw 12 Marlins score. Ford finished with a season-high seven assists, three steals, and added one block.
Teasley led Virginia Wesleyan scoring with 21 points, hitting 9-of-13 field goal attempts, including three triples. Vaughn finished with 16 points and a game-high five blocks, sophomore D.J. Woodmore (Virginia Beach/Landstown) scored 15 points, and Astorga finished with 11 points.
Virginia Wesleyan hit on 8-of-28 three-point attempts, led by Teasley's three. The Marlins also posted a 56-40 advantage in rebounding, led by senior Rakeem Davis (Chesapeake, Va./Deep Creek) with seven. Teasley, Vaughn, Woodmore, and Ford all recorded six rebounds.
James Whitehead (Columbia, S.C./Dreher) led Methodist with 18 points, scoring 12 in the second half. Mark Jernigan (Greensboro, N.C./Eastern Guilford) scored 10 points. Terrell Stallings (Roanoke Rapids, N.C./Northwest Halifax) led the Monarchs on the boards with seven rebounds.
Virginia Wesleyan returns to competition on Saturday, Dec. 17, hosting Shenandoah University at 2 p.m.