VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Virginia Wesleyan guard Keijon Honore was fouled on a 3-point shot in the closing seconds Wednesday night and stepped to the line and hit all three foul shots to lift the Marlins to a 60-58 victory over Bridgewater in ODAC men's basketball action.
Honore's free throws capped a frantic final 1:30 that saw the Eagles wipe out a four-point deficit.
A layup by Lamont Steward put the Marlins ahead 57-53 at the 1:30 mark. Fifteen seconds later, Dimetri Chambers scored on a driving layup to make it a two-point game. Bridgewater then forced a turnover as Josh Cammon came away with a steal. Cammon was fouled on the way to the hoop and hit 1-of-2 foul shots to cut the margin to one, 57-56, with 57 seconds left.
Cammon came up with another steal with 29 seconds remaining and the Eagles called timeout with 20 seconds left. Davrion Grier scored on a layup with nine seconds on the clock to give the Eagles the lead, but Honore was fouled with four seconds remaining and made all three shots to secure the 60-58 victory for the Marlins.
Bridgewater got off to a quick start as an early 12-0 spurt gave the Eagles a 16-4 lead. Zach Breathwaite worked the paint for a layup and Chandler Murray added a layup to ignite the run. Ken Stanciel hit a 3-pointer and Chambers converted a three-point play to put the Eagles on top 14-4. Stanciel capped the early flurry when he took a pass from Sami El-Rafey for an easy layup to give the Eagles a 16-4 lead.
Virginia Wesleyan answered with a 10-0 run to pull within two, but the Eagles held the Marlins off for the remainder of the half to lead 30-26 at the break.
The Marlins took their first lead of the second half when Tyree Golston converted a three-point play for a 32-31 lead.
The Eagles inched back out to a five-point lead when Stanciel went to work inside and converted a three-point play, making the score 39-34 with 16:54 remaining.
The Marlins pulled even at 41-41 in a Tim Fisher jumper and a layup by Fisher put the hosts on top 43-41 with 12:48 left.
A dunk by Grier tied the score before Steward made 1-of-2 at the line for a one-point, 44-43, Marlins' lead. The score remained 44-43 for almost three minutes before a jumper by Percy Burt pushed the Marlins' advantage to three.
Virginia Wesleyan started to inch away as a dunk by Burt pushed the margin to five. A jumper by Steward with 6:12 left gave the Marlins a 52-46 edge.
The Eagles stayed within striking distance and a dunk by Cammon pulled Bridgewater to within a bucket, 55-53, with 2:32 left. Bridgewater had two opportunities to tie the score, but came up empty, setting the stage for the frenzied finish.
Chambers led all scorers with 16 points and Stanciel added 11. Steward, Honore and Corey White, Jr. each finished with 12 points for Virginia Wesleyan.
The Eagles, now 14-10 overall and 8-7 in the ODAC, close out the regular season on the road Saturday when they travel to Lynchburg College.
The ODAC men's basketball tournament will begin next Tuesday evening. Saturday's games will determine seedings and matchups, but the Eagles are assured of hosting a first-round game on the opening night of tournament play.