Virginia Wesleyan Holds Off Guilford Men, 70-62

Josh Pittman (Zach Morgan photo)
Josh Pittman (Zach Morgan photo)

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Chris Astorga had a game-high 22 points and nine rebounds in Virginia Wesleyan College's 70-62 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) men's basketball win at Guilford College Saturday afternoon.

The Marlins (17-6, 12-2 ODAC) led from start to finish to earn a sweep of the season series with the Quakers (16-7, 8-6 ODAC). The victory helped Virginia Wesleyan remain in second place in the tight ODAC standings, while the loss knocked Guilford out of a share of fourth place and into sixth. The top four teams earn a first-round bye in the ODAC Tournament later this month.

Virginia Wesleyan raced to an 18-6 lead seven minutes into the game and never looked back. D.J. Woodmore knocked down his first three shots, all three-pointers, and had 10 of the Marlins' first 18 points. An Astorga three stretched Virginia Wesleyan's advantage to 26-11 with 7:52 left in the half. The Quakers closed the period on a 14-5 run that featured seven points by Josh Pittman and trimmed the Marlins' lead to 31-26 at halftime.

An Astorga three-pointer opened the second-half scoring and set the tone for the period. Sparked largely by Pittman, Guilford made multiple charges, but the Marlins staved them off. A Pittman three made it a 42-40 game, but after trading possessions, an Astorga bucket started an 8-0 Virginia Wesleyan run. Another Pittman trifecta go the Quakers to within 52-49, but Guilford drew no closer as Chris Teasley made four straight free throws and gave the visitors a seven-point edge with seven minutes left.

Will Freeman's layup with 1:38 left brought Guilford to within 63-59, but he picked up a foul at the other end and Teasley made the two free throws for a six-point Marlins' lead with 64 seconds remaining. Guilford bounced back from 29.2% first-half shooting and made 51.6% of its second-half shots. However, Virginia Wesleyan connected on 12-of-22 (54.5%) second-half shots.

The Marlins' Teasley and Woodmore finished with 16 points apiece. Woodmore had 13 points in the first half and made three-of-four three-pointers. Teasley had 10 in the second half and collected eight rebounds. Colby Heard chipped in 11 points off the bench thanks to five-of-five field-goal shooting in the second half.

Pittman paced the Quakers with 21 points, eight rebounds and three assists, all team highs. Freeman finished with 12 points off the bench and Matt McCarthy added 10 points.

Guilford closes its regular-season home schedule Wednesday (2/13) against league-rival Emory & Henry College at 7:30 p.m.