Moore Explodes for 41 in Marlins NCAA Second Round Win

Moore Explodes for 41 in Marlins NCAA Second Round Win

WAYNE, N.J. --- Virginia Wesleyan College sophomore guard Khory Moore exploded for 41 points on Saturday evening in Wayne, N.J., leading the Marlins to a 77-74 triumph over host William Paterson University in the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.  Moore's night marks the second most points scored by a Marlin in program history, behind only the 43 points scored by Tom Brett in 1968-69.

Despite Moore's outburst, the outcome remained in the balance in the final minutes.  Virginia Wesleyan led by nine points with 4:18 to play, but the Pioneers whittled down the Marlins advantage, pulling to within one at 72-71 with 0:49 on the clock following a jumper by Sandy Burgos.  Two free throws each from Moore and Breven Lyons and one from Cameron Owens pushed the Marlins edge out to six points with 0:06 to go, but WPU wasn't done making it interesting.

Manny Hernandez hit a three-pointer in the closing seconds, although was unlucky in how it went down.  The ball rattled around the rim for two seconds, finally ripping the cord and stopping the clock with just 0:00.1 to play.  Follwing a timeout, VWC's inbounds pass missed everyone, giving WPU the ball underneath the Marlins basket.  Thankfully for the visitors, the time on the clock left little option for the Pioneers, with their pass off the endline intercepted as time expired.

The win improved VWC's record to 25-5, while WPU closes its season with a 21-8 mark.  Virginia Wesleyan, in the midst of its 11th straight trip to the national tournament, enters the quarterfinal round for the fifth straight season.  The Marlins will meet Dickinson College (24-5) in a location to be determined on Sunday.  Also playing the four team pod will be St. John Fisher College (25-4) and fellow ODAC member Randolph-Macon College (27-2).

Updated NCAA Interactive Bracket

Moore had it going early and often for VWC as he scored 12 of the Marlins first 15 points as they opened a 15-8 lead less than five minutes into the contest.  That advantage hit eight points several times, including at 22-14 with 10:56 on the clock.  A 9-2 WPU run capped by two free throws from Turrell McClendon pulled the Pioneers to within one at 24-23 with 8:42 left in the half.

Moore followed with two straight three pointers to push VWC ahead by six, while a three-point play by Kaelin Poe and layups by Cameron Owens and Moore made it 36-24 in VWC's favor 5:15 prior to the break.  A three-pointer by Andre' Banks and put-back dunk by Poe pushed VWC's lead to 14 with under a minute to go.

Burgos made a pair of free throws, then came up with a steal and nearly buried a half-court heave at the buzzer, but it fell off the rim sending the two squads to the intermission with Virginia Wesleyan on top, 43-31.

Scoring was slow at the outset of the second frame, with Hernandez and Nick Doyle trading three-pointers as the only points in the first two minutes.  Burgos and Jaques Conceicao hit three-pointers for WPU, with Banks answering once for a 51-40 VWC lead with 14:26 to play.

WPU went on a quick eight-point spurt, with Burgos notching six markers including a three-pointer at 13:04 to cut VWC's lead to 51-48.  Moore's two from the stripe were matched by a dunk by Terik Bridgeman, but it was Zach Frick's only three-pointer of the game that knotted the score 53-all with 11:02 on the clock.

An Owens jumper and three from the stripe by Moore made it 58-53 Marlins with 9:20 to go.  VWC kept a small cushion until Conceicao made it a one-point game with a layup for a 60-59 score with 7:12 on the scoreboard.  Moore continued to pour it on, burying one from deep and hitting two more from the line to put VWC ahead, 65-60, with 6:27 to play.

A layup by Tim Jones and two free tosses by Moore put the Marlins up by nine and setup the final 4:18.

Moore's 41 points came on 9-of-17 shooting from field, including 4-of-9 from deep.  He was 19-of-23 from the foul line.  Poe collected a game-high 10 boards to go with five points and three blocked shots.  Owens hit for eight points, and Brandon Mitchell posted five points and nine rebounds.  Lyons dished out a game-high five assists.

Burgos led three Pioneers in double figures with 19 points.  Conceicao registered 14 markers, while Hernandez notched 13 points.  McClendon had eight points to go with a team-best eight boards.