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Marlins Nip Ferrum Men 60-56 in ODAC Opener

Kajuan Madden-McAfee had 18 points for Ferrum.
Kajuan Madden-McAfee had 18 points for Ferrum.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia -- The Ferrum College men's basketball team dropped its Old Dominion Athletic Conference opener on the road, falling 60-56 to Virginia Wesleyan University this afternoon at the Jane P. Batten Student Center.

Virginia Wesleyan (5-1, 1-0 ODAC)
Ferrum (2-4, 0-1 ODAC)

Virginia Wesleyan opened an 8-0 lead in the first three minutes of play, but Ferrum stormed back with a 13-4 run over the next three and a half minutes to grab a 13-12 lead on Kajuan Madden-McAfee's three-pointer from the right side at the 13:29 mark. Brandon Reeves' layup at 11:08 tied the game at 17-17, before the Marlins used a 5-0 run to grab a 22-17 lead on Percy Burt's layup.

Ferrum exploded with a 14-2 run on a pair of three-pointers from Madden-McAfee, two layups from Marcus Plair and a jumper each by Nick Helton and Carrington Young. The teams traded baskets and Ferrum took a 33-26 lead into the break.

The Marlins chipped away at the lead over the first six minutes of the second half, cutting it to 45-42 on Burt's layup and free throw. Corey Pelham's three-pointer at 9:39 gave Virginia Wesleyan a 49-47 lead, then Tyree Gholson converted a pair of free throws to make it a 51-47 VWU lead at 8:30.

Helton's layup with eight minutes left to play trimmed the lead to 51-49, then Kalip Jones made it a 52-50 game when he made one of two free throws with 6:42 left to play. The Marlins scored the next five points to widen the lead to 57-50 with 3:31 showing on the clock.

Ferrum answered with a 6-0 run on two free throws each by Rashad Reed and Reeves, and a layup by Madded-McAfee, to get within a point at 57-56 at the 1:32 mark.

Pelham was fouled and made the first of two free throws with less than 10 seconds left in regulation to give the Marlins a 58-56 lead, but missed the second free throw. Teammate Tim Fisher grabbed the rebound with three seconds left, was fouled and converted two free throws for the final count.

Virginia Wesleyan: Gholson 17 pts; Jordan White 13 pts; Fisher 12 pts, 9 reb; Pelham 12 pts
Ferrum: Madden-McAfee 18 pts, 4 3FGS; Plair 13 pts; Reeves 9 pts

"We had a great effort this afternoon against a really good team. Offensively in the first half, we found rhythm and had some success. They made some adjustments and in the second half we really struggled to make plays and score, especially down the stretch. I was really proud of our effort defensively and on the glass. If we can continue to do those things consistently, and find our stride on the offensive side, I think we will really be able to turn the corner and win games." --Head Coach Tyler Sanborn

Sanborn's team will be back in action Wednesday, December 4, at home against University of Lynchburg. The ODAC game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off at Swartz Gym.