The Keydets jumped out to a 28-0 lead and never looked back, as VMI opened the game with a run that fell just six points shy of a Division I record. The 28 unanswered points to open a game was just six points shy of Seton Hall’s 34-0 run to begin a contest against Kean in 1998.
The Keydets also allowed the fewest points they had surrendered since Nov. 22, 2004 and notched the 10th-most points scored in school history with their 124 markers. VMI forced 30 turnovers in the win and hit 21 three-pointers, tied for the third-most in program annals and the team’s most since also hitting 21 in a November 2010 game. In addition, the Keydets limited Johnson to just 14 field goals, two shy of a team defensive record set in 1972.
In the victory, the Keydets were led by QJ Peterson’s 19 points, while Trey Chapman went 5 for 5 from the floor and finished just two points shy of his career-high, as he scored 14 points. Craig Hinton, Tim Marshall, Jordan Weethee and Armani Branch all finished in double figures as well, with Hinton doing so in his season debut.
The Keydets continued to stretch their lead after the game-opening run, with the margin growing to as many as 47 at one point, 55-8 with 5:35 left in the opening half. Johnson pulled into double digits on a layup with 3:53 on the clock, and the teams were relatively even the rest of the half as the Keydets led, 62-16, at the break. A 12-0 edge in second chance points and a 23-4 margin in points off turnovers were the key stats over the first 20 minutes.
The second half saw more of the same, as the home team used a 23-2 run to grow its lead to 85-18 with 14:28 to play. The Keydets hit the century mark on a triple with 11:38 to go, taking an 80-point lead at 100-20 on the QJ Peterson shot, and took a game-high 85-point lead moments later at 105-20. Johnson was able to stay relatively even the rest of the way and cut the final margin to 82, 124-42, as time expired.
VMI finished the game 43 of 82 from the floor (52.4%) and 21 of 46 (45.7%) from long range. The Keydets made 17 of 24 (70.8%) at the foul line. Johnson was held to 14 of 63 (22.2%) overall and 3 of 13 from downtown (23.1%).
QUOTES – VMI Head Coach Duggar Baucom
“We shot the ball well tonight. Coach Ryan Mattocks has really been working these guys in individual workouts and the effort has paid off. I thought our energy was great. They had us by one in rebounding at the half but we got that straightened out in the second half. The thing I was most proud of was our unselfishness. We really got our team involved with 24 assists on 41 made baskets. We really spread it around.”
“I thought Jordan (Weethee) got his shot back and Q.J. (Peterson) shot it a little better, and Craig Hinton shot it well for not having played. I think everybody who took the floor for us gave us good minutes.”