Stan Okoye had a game-high 27 points, D.J. Covington poured in 25 points and blocked five shots and Rodney Glasgow tied a career-high with 11 assists as the VMI Keydets routed the Longwood Lancers, 93-60, in Big South basketball action Wednesday night in Farmville, Va.
In the victory, the Keydets (11-10, 6-3 Big South) shot a season-high 57.6% from the floor and helped their coach, Duggar Baucom, move to within a victory of tying the record for most coaching wins in school history.
The contest was scoreless for the first 1:02, but Covington opened the scoring with a basket 62 seconds in and the Keydets would never trail. It marked the first time the Keydets had led wire to wire against a Division I opponent this season, and was also the first time that had occurred in a regular season game since Nov. 11, 2011 against The Citadel. Wednesday night’s action saw the Keydets outscore Longwood (3-21, 0-10 Big South) 46-18 in the paint, which marked VMI’s most points in the paint against a D-I foe since that same Citadel contest last season.
The Keydets hit from the outside as well by going 11 of 26 from distance (42.3%) for the team’s third-best three-point percentage of the season. The win was Baucom’s 115th at VMI, pulling him within one of Bart Bellairs, who holds the school mark with 116 victories at the Institute. It also tied the VMI skipper with Gary Edwards, former Charleston Southern head man, for sixth-most in Big South history.
Meanwhile, Okoye’s 27 points pulled him within 11 of Keith Gabriel for fifth on the all-time Keydet scoring list, while Covington’s 25 markers were the second-most of his career, trailing only a 26-point effort earlier this season. Covington’s five blocks marked the fourth time this season he had rejected at least that many shots, while Glasgow’s 11 dimes led a 20-assist attack.
The homestanding Lancers hung with the Keydets in the early going, as they cut the VMI lead to two points, 9-7, on a T.T. Carey dunk just before the first media timeout. After that stoppage, however, the Keydets came out on fire. The visitors put up an 11-0 run over the next 2:51, and after a Covington basket, would take a 20-7 lead with 13:04 left in the half.
Longwood cut the margin to 11 on a pair of occasions, including at 24-13, but the Keydets then used a 12-5 push to increase their lead to 18, 36-18, with 5:16 to play in the period. Longwood did outscore VMI 8-4 over the remainder of the half, as the Keydets made just two field goals over that final 5:16, and the visitors’ lead was 40-26 at halftime. That first half of play was controlled by the Keydets, who put up 22 points in the paint, an estimated 10 of which came off of dunks. VMI also took advantage of 10 Lancer turnovers to the tune of a 12-2 edge in fast break points.
The home team matched the Keydets for the first two-plus minutes of the second half, keeping the margin at 14, but then VMI began to pull away. That 14-point margin would be the closest the Lancers got in the second half, as the Keydets gradually distanced themselves. VMI went up by 20 for the first time with 14:54 to play, thanks to three free throws by Brian Brown, and used a 14-4 run to push the lead over the 30-point mark, 82-51, with 5:30 showing on the clock.
The Lancers cut the lead back to 28 for the final time with 2:31 remaining, but the VMI bench outscored Longwood 7-2 over the final 2:31 to account for the final margin, 93-60.
For the game, VMI outrebounded Longwood 39-28 as every active Keydet player had at least one board. The contest, therefore, marked the second straight game the Keydets had enjoyed a double-digit edge in rebounding, and that is the first time a Keydet team has accomplished that feat since games against UVA-Wise and Ferrum in December of 2005.
The Keydets saw Brown chip in 15 points, and VMI went to 4-1 when he scores at least that many markers this season. Phillip Anglade added six points and seven rebounds in 25 minutes, as the Keydets grabbed their first win in Farmville since Dec. 8, 2004.
The Lancers were led by Carey’s 13 points, while Michael Kessens had 11 and nine rebounds.
VMI basketball will return to action Friday, as the Keydets face UNC Asheville at Cameron Hall in a conference showdown that will be nationally televised on ESPNU. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
QUOTES – VMI Head Coach Duggar Baucom
“I thought at Radford we played hard, but weren’t very good offensively. Tonight, I thought we were good offensively and defensively.”
“Stan and D.J. were spectacular, and Rodney Glasgow, I think by far it was his best floor game. He scored when he needed to, but 11 assists and only two turnovers — and one of those was a charge.”
“Phillip Anglade is giving us great energy as he’s starting and he’s finishing, and for Brian Brown to shoot it like he did tonight certainly helps.”