Keydets rout Longwood
Stan Okoye had his sixth double-double of 2010-11, Austin Kenon had a game-high 26 points and the VMI Keydets routed the Longwood Lancers 114-82 in non-conference basketball action Saturday afternoon at Cameron Hall.
Okoye notched his double-double with four minutes left in the opening half, and concluded the contest with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Kenon had seven three-pointers, one short of his career high, and D.J. Covington had a career-high 16 points to help VMI (7-4) win its third straight game over the Lancers (3-7).
With the win, VMI breaks a three-game losing streak and head coach Duggar Baucom moves to #3 on the school’s all-time wins list (76). The Keydets shot 55.1 percent from the field, their second-best effort of the year, and VMI also held a 51-37 edge on the glass. That marked the first time the Keydets held a rebounding advantage since Nov. 29, when they bested Central Penn College. VMI also hit 15 of 34 from three-point range, their most treys since that same Nov. 29 contest.
The Lancers were led by Antwan Carter and Aaron Mitchell, who had 20 points apiece in the losing effort.
VMI burst out of the gate, opening the contest on an 18-6 run. The spurt was fueled by four three-pointers and helped by Longwood shooting just two for 10 over the first 5:14, as Michael Sparks capped the run with a trey at the 14:46 mark. Longwood climbed back within nine, but an Okoye jumper pushed the margin back to double digits.
The Keydet lead would stay over 10 until the 7:32 mark, when the Lancers were able to cut it back to nine, 31-22. In fact, the visitors cut the deficit as low as six after a pair of Jeremiah Bowman free throws, 38-32, with 4:13 left in the period. The Lancers were still within eight a minute later, but VMI outscored Longwood 13-7 over the final three-plus minutes and took a 55-41 lead to the locker room at halftime.
The first half was dominated by Okoye and Kenon, as the sophomore forward had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while the senior guard hit five of nine from three-point range, en route to 17 points.
The second period began with three minutes of back-and-forth action, as after a Longwood three-point play, the Lancers were within 12, 62-50. From there, VMI launched the game-clinching run, a 15-2 spurt that gave the Keydets a 25-point lead, 77-52. Okoye capped the push with a lay-up at 13:28, and the lead would grow for the rest of the contest.
Wayne Whiting converted a three-point play to make the lead 30, 95-65, with 7:36 to go, and although the Lancers got back within 25 on multiple occasions, Drew Absher hit a three-pointer in the waning seconds to account for the final margin, 114-82.
The Keydets had 41 bench points on the day, and freshman point guard Rodney Glasgow had 15 points, seven assists and no turnovers. The game concluded a run of eight home contests in the season’s first 11 games, as the Keydets now have just seven home games remaining this year.