Late Surge Carries No. 2 Virginia Wesleyan Past FSU

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NORFOLK, Va. – Frostburg State senior Christian Jackson dropped a season and game best 37 points, but it wasn't enough as No. 2 ranked Virginia Wesleyan used a late surge to earn a 85-64 victory in non-conference action, Sunday afternoon.

A day after shooting a season-best 57.4 percent from the field in a CAC win over Mary Washington, the Bobcats (3-4) attempted to ride the momentum to an upset of one of the nation's top teams.

Frostburg fell behind by 10 points on two occasions in the opening half, but battled back each time and kept pace with undefeated Marlins (5-0). With 5:40 to play in the first, FSU trailed 25-15, but Jackson and sophomore Jabari Kamau each knocked down a pair of jumpers to help the visitors draw within four, 29-25, with just over a minute left.

Following a pair of Virginia Wesleyan free throws, Jackson capped the first half with a jumper with two seconds left as the Bobcats trailed just 31-27 at intermission.

The lead changed seven times in the opening half behind 14 points from Jackson and eight from Kamau off the bench.

In the second, neither team could pull away as Frostburg tied the game four times over the first seven minutes and grabbed a two-point lead, 41-39, when senior Kwambina Coker hit a jumper at 14:50.

However, the Marlins used the first of three runs to pull away from FSU. Leading by just one at 46-45, VWC collected a 12-2 spurt for a 58-47 lead with 10:14 to play.

Jackson scored five-straight points for Frostburg as it narrowed the gap to six, 58-52, but the Marlins scored six-consecutive points for a 64-52 edge with 8:20 left.

Freshman Royce Hunsberger hit a three-pointer moments later to bring the deficit back within single digits, but Virginia Wesleyan proved too much with a late 11-1 scoring surge for the win.

Jackson, who has led the Bobcats in scoring in all seven games this season, finished 13-of-27 from the floor (48.1%) and 11-of-12 (91.6%) at the foul line. His 37 points are good for ninth all-time in a single-game and are the most for a Bobcat since Scott Kerr scored 41 during the 1990-91 season. Kamau finished with 10 points behind 3-of-4 from the field (75.0%) and a perfect 4-of-4 effort from the foul line.

As a team, the Bobcats shot just 34.9 percent from the field (22-of-63). FSU outrebounded the Marlins 44-35 and held them to just 34.4 percent shooting (11-of-32) in the first half. Virginia Wesleyan rebounded to shoot 58.3 percent from the field (14-24) in the second half.

The hosts also used a 9-2 lead in three-pointers and made eight more free throws to outdistance the Bobcats. Three starters scored in double figures for the VWC, led by 25 from DJ Woodmore.

After opening the season with seven-straight road games, Frostburg State opens its home slate this Wednesday with Mt. Aloysius at 7:00 pm.