Guilford Wins Second ODAC Title
Quakers Earn Automatic Qualifier into NCAA Tournament
SALEM, Va. --- Guilford College clinched its
second Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Men's Basketball
Tournament title in three years with an 81-65 victory over
Randolph-Macon College Sunday afternoon in the Salem Civic
With the win, the Quakers (26-2) earn the league's automatic NCAA Division III Tournament bid and will make their fourth consecutive national playoff appearance. Ranked fourth in this week's D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll, Guilford improved to 100-18 over the last four years.
Guilford's T.C. Anderson (pictured) and Clay Henson both scored 15 points to lead the Quakers' balanced scoring effort. Anderson shot five-of-six from the floor to set his career scoring high for the second time in three days. Henson, an All-ODAC Tournament selection, scored nine points in the second half and added a game-high six assists. Tournament Most Valuable Player Tyler Sanborn added his league-leading 25th double-double of the year with 12 points, a game-high 12 rebounds and two blocks.
"All the work we've put in all year finally paid off," Sanborn said. "This is one step closer to where we want to get to. We have to keep working hard and get ready for what's coming up."
Anderson scored six of his 10 first-half points off of breakaways he created with steals, which helped Guilford open a 10-point lead. Randolph-Macon's Eric Pugh made two late three-pointers, which pulled the Yellow Jackets (22-6) to within 35-31 at halftime.
Pugh knocked down three more threes and Adam Desgain hit another in the first 3:28 of the second half as Randolph-Macon jumped out to a 48-46 lead.
"We felt like we closed out the first half pretty well, but they shot their way back into it with a couple of threes at the end," said Guilford all-tournament pick Rhett Bonner. "In the second half they got kind of hot on us. Pugh was really fired up in the second half, but they cooled off a little bit and we kept rebounding."
After Randolph-Macon's Danny Jones tied the game at 50-50 with 13:31 remaining, the Yellow Jackets missed eight of their next nine field goals and Guilford pulled away with a 13-3 run. Bonner scored four of his 13 points during the run. A Desgain three-pointer with 7:22 left made it a 63-58 game, but Randolph-Macon drew no closer.
For the third game in as many days, Guilford received strong bench play and offense from unlikely sources. Sophomore Brad Monroe (right) contributed eight points, six rebounds and a block in 21 minutes off the bench. He entered the game with a 2.8 scoring average, but hit for a career-high 11 points in Saturday's semifinal win over 11th-ranked Virginia Wesleyan. Tobi Akinsola, averaging 3.1 points per game, also had eight points, matching his total of his previous nine games.
The 2009-10 Kurt Axe ODAC Player of the Year, Sanborn averaged 13.3 points, 14.0 rebounds and 3.3 blocks in Guilford's three ODAC Tournament wins. He joins former teammate Ben Strong '08 as the Quakers' two ODAC Tournament MVPs.
"I get a lot of accolades and a lot of points and rebounds," Sanborn said. "But if it wasn't for Rhett and Clay and what they do, and how everybody else plays around me, there's no way I would be able to do what I do. It's a really good feeling to have this off our backs. We got it done."
Pugh finished with a game-high 17 points, five steals and for the 18th-ranked Yellow Jackets, who await a possible at-large NCAA Tournament berth. Jones scored 13 points and had five rebounds off the bench. Desgain and Brandon Braxton both scored 10 points.
Guilford, which placed third in the 2009 NCAA Division III Tournament, learns of its next opponent Monday (3/1) at 10:00 a.m. when the 61-team field is announced on NCAA.com. As one of the South region's top-ranked teams, Guilford has a chance to host first- and second-round games in the Ragan-Brown Field House. The Quakers suffered an 89-77 home loss to St. Mary's (Md.) College in the first round of the 2008 tournament after winning the ODAC crown.
"Hopefully we'll be hosting next week," Sanborn said. "But in 2008 we hosted and didn't play well against St. Mary's, but I think this year's going to be really different. We're going to come in really prepared and ready to work hard."
2010 Men's All-Tournament Team
Tyler Sanborn, MOP, Guilford
Clay Henson, Guilford
Rhett Bonner, Guilford
Danny Jones, Randolph-Macon
Eric Pugh, Randolph-Macon
This release is courtesy of the Guilford College sports information department.