GREENSBORO, N.C. - Senior Marcus' Curry's corner three-pointer with 32 seconds left lifted Guilford College to an 82-78 basketball win over the nationally ranked University of Lynchburg Wednesday night. Curry buried later made four free throws and grabbed a key rebound to ice the Quakers' win over their previously unbeaten Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) rivals.
Ranked 22nd in this week's D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll, the Hornets (7-1, 3-1 ODAC) rallied from a 14-point deficit with 7:54 left in regulation. Junior Kyler Gregory's first three-pointer of the season opened a 69-54 margin, the Quakers' (4-4, 1-1 ODAC) largest of the game. Lynchburg responded with a 19-5 run capped by Jesse Case's three-pointer with 1:02 left in regulation that tied the score at 74-74. Connor Schroeder scored seven points and Austin Wrighten added six during the Hornets' run.
After a timeout, the Quakers worked the ball around before Jaylen Gore found Curry in the near corner with the shot clock winding down. The senior knocked down his second three of the game with six left on the shot clock. Case was fouled at the other end of the floor with 18.9 ticks left. He made one of two free throws and the Hornets quickly fouled Curry and the senior calmly made two free throws with 17.9 seconds remaining, which opened a 79-75 advantage. After a Case shot rolled off the rim, Curry grabbed his team-leading seventh rebound and was fouled again. He made the next two free throws for an insurmountable 81-75 edge with 9.5 seconds left.
"We've lost a lot of games in the last five minutes (this season)," Guilford coach Tom Palombo said afterward. "I'm glad we won, but I'm also glad it was close and I'm glad we had some adversity. I'm glad we were able to come out on top and show the guys we believe in them."
Curry scored 17 of his team-high 22 points in the second half, despite playing only 17 minutes due to foul trouble. Gregory finished with a career-best 21 points, including 14 in the first half that rallied the Quakers from 12 down into a 36-35 halftime lead. He made four-of-five field goals and connected on 12-of-14 free throws, including 10-of-12 in the opening frame. Carson Long (Pilot Mountain, N.C./East Surry) compiled 14 points, seven rebounds, and a game-high three steals. Gore added 11 points, six boards, and a team-best four assists. Guilford made 26-of-31 (83.9%) free throws as a team, compared to the Hornets' 12-of-19 (63.2%) shooting from the line.
Lynchburg's Wrighten led all scorers with 25 points and added 15 rebounds, three assists and three steals to his robust stat line. He scored 15 of his points in the second half. Schroeder scored 15 points, 13 after intermission, and had four boards. Case and Cole Meadows scored eight points apiece.
Coach Tom Palombo's Quakers visit league-rival Shenandoah University Saturday (12/8) at 2:00 p.m.