Diplomats Fall to Marlins

Diplomats Fall to Marlins

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – No. 10 Virginia Wesley went on a 22-5 run in the final 10 minutes of the game to defeat No. 18 Franklin & Marshall 79-71 in the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
 
The Diplomats (23-6) were hit with seven fouls in the Marlins game-winning run, including four in a row.  F&M held a nine-point, 60-51, lead with 9:54 remaining in the contest when the run began. Virginia Wesleyan (25-4) scored seven unanswered to cut F&M's lead to two, 60-58, at the 6:50 mark. Georgio Milligan hit a bucket to stop the run, but the Marlins answered with a trey by D.J. Woodmore to come within a point, 62-61, at 6:04.
 
Milligan hit two from the stripe to put F&M up three, 64-61, before the Diplomats were hit with four straight fouls. The last resulting in a traditional three-point play by Chris Teasley to give the Marlins their first lead of the half, 66-65, with 3:19 left to play. Virginia Wesley rolled off seven straight points over the next two and half minutes to go up 72-65 with 56 ticks on the clock.  Milligan's jumper with 44 seconds left got F&M within five before Tre' Ford hit the backend of his shots from the line for a six-point Marlins' lead.
 
Milligan again put the Diplomats within five, 73-68, hitting his second shot from the stripe, but the Marlins put the game out of reach with two perfect trips from the line, leading to the 79-71 final.
 
F&M built on its 40-33 halftime edge, taking an 11-point lead, 48-37, at 17:38 in the second half. The Marlins slowly chipped away at the lead coming within two, 49-47, at 14:33. The Diplomats quickly responded with an 11-4 run to go up nine at 9:54, setting up the Marlins' run.
 
The first half was a battle with four ties and six lead changes over the first ten minutes. F&M finally pulled away with a 6-0 run to go up 26-21 at 7:38. The Marlins came within three points, 26-23, with just under six minutes remaining in the half, before F&M took control. The Diplomats put together a 14-5 run to take their largest lead of the game, 40-28, at the 1:10 mark. The Marlins closed out the half with five straight points.
 
Milligan scored a game-high 30 points and added 10 boards for his third double-double of the year. He shot 50% from the floor and went 9-for-15 from the stripe. Mike Baker and James McNally both netted 18 points. Baker added six rebounds while McNally finished shooting 8-for-13. Brandon Beckford added five points for the Diplomats.
 
Five players scored in double-figures for the Marlins. Woodmore and Ford both finished with 16 and Teasley added 14. Rakeem Davis contributed 12 points for Virginia Wesleyan.