Depth dominates as Virginia Wesleyan rolls to sixth straight victory

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VIRGINIA BEACH -- Virginia Wesleyan College head men's basketball coach Dave Macedo utilized a deep bench all the way Wednesday as 18 Marlins played in an 84-51 Old Dominion Athletic Conference victory over Shenandoah University at the Jane P. Batten Student Center.

Nine Marlins played anywhere from 11 to 23 minutes as Virginia Wesleyan took control early and dominated en route to its sixth consecutive victory.  More importantly, the victory improved VWC's conference record to 9-0 and its overall mark to 13-4.  Shenandoah fell to 0-9 in the ODAC and to 3-15 overall.

Junior DJ Woodmore (Virginia Beach/Landstown) 12 Marlins in scoring with 22 points, including three dunks in the first four minutes of the second half.  Two came off his own steals and another followed a steal by sophomore Cameron Owens (Centerville/Centreville).  Woodmore hit 9-of-14 field goals overall as he recorded his seventh 20+ scoring game of the season.

Senior Chris Astorga (Suffolk/Virginia Beach Cape Henry Collegiate) added 16 points, knocking down 4-of-9 field goals, including a game-high three triples.  Senior Chris Teasley (Newport News/Menchville) followed with nine points and finished with a game-high four assists.

Sophomore Xavier Alston (Fredericksburg/Courtland) hit a basket to tie the game at 2-all for Shenandoah, but Woodmore answered with a jumper for the Marlins with 18:10 on the clock and VWC led the rest of the way.  Woodmore's score was part of an 11-0 run by the Marlins, highlighted by five points from Teasley.

Shenandoah pulled the deficit under the double digit mark several times in the nex four minutes, led by Sharif Amulla (Orlando, Fla./Timber Creek) and Eli McEathron (Front Royal/Skyline), but the Hornets never got closer than eight points.  Owens nailed two free throws at 11:15 to spark an 11-2 scoring spurt for Virgina Wesleyan as the Marlins started to pull away for good, leading 28-11 at 7:29.

An Alston jumper pulled Shenandoah within a 29-15 score in the next minute, but it was never closer.  Virginia Wesleyan closed the half outscoring the Hornets 15-6 to open a 44-21 lead at halftime.

Woodmore's dunks in the early minutes of the second half added to VWC lead, which expanded to its highest stretch at 36 points, helped by a triple from senior Art Crew (Williamsburg/Lafayette) and a free throw by sophomore Greg Montgomery (Norfolk/Virginia Beach Princess Anne). The Marlins led 71-35 with 8:54 remaining to be played.

Virginia Wesleyan bolstered its offensive game by dominating the backboards, out-rebounding the Hornets 51-28.  Woodmore and Astorga pulled down seven rebounds each for VWC.  Woodmore also led the Marlins with a game-high four steals.

Sophomore Jared Carithers (Bowie, Md./Bowie) led Shenandoah scoring with 13 points, helped by a 6-of-6 effort from the free throw lines.  Almulla finished with 11 points.  Alston topped Shenandoah rebounding with seven and led the team with a game-high four blocks.

Virginia Wesleyan returns to competition on Saturday, Jan. 26, motoring to Lexington to take on the Generals of Washington and Lee University in an ODAC game beginning at 2 p.m.