With a 72-70 victory over Roanoke on Sunday at the Salem Civic Center, Emory & Henry won the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament for the first time in school history.

The Wasps (22-6) earned the ODAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament and will be playing in the national tourney for the first time since 1993. They learned Monday that their first-round national-tourney game will be Friday in Newport News against Franklin & Marshall (20-6) of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

E&H’s Chase Branscomb put in a game-high 29 points during Sunday’s ODAC title game and was named the conference tourney’s most valuable player. Senior teammate John Shelor added 24 points, junior Alic Wynn collected a game-high 14 rebounds and sophomore Colin Molden dealt a game-high seven assists. Shelor and Wynn joined Branscomb on the all-tourney team.

Molden put the fourth-seeded Wasps ahead  of Roanoke to stay with a three-pointer with 27 seconds left. That was after the second-seeded Maroons had rallied from a 66-55 deficit to lead 70-68 in the final 50 seconds. With E&H ahead 72-70, a Roanoke 35-footer caromed off the rim at game’s end.

The Wasps connected on 11 three-pointers to Roanoke’s five, with Branscomb leading the way with four buckets from long range.

E&H moved into the championship game by holding off ninth-seeded Eastern Mennonite 78-76 on Saturday. The Royals rallied from a 60-44 deficit with 14:30 to play.

Branscomb totaled 18 points and seven rebounds in the semifinals, with Wynn providing 13 points and 13 rebounds, freshman Tharon Suggs contributing 18 points, and Molden canning five threes on his way to a 17-point outing.

In Friday’s quarterfinals, the Wasps dropped 12th-seeded Randolph 82-69. Wynn tallied 20 points and 16 rebounds in that one while Branscomb produced 13 points and 10 boards. Shelor scored 15 points in the quarterfinal, and sophomore Daniel Spencer contributed 13 points and seven rebounds.

Branscomb made the six-player All-ODAC first team after averaging a team-high 16.6 points per game during the regular season. He also averaged 8.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest.

Shelor and Wynn made the all-conference second team, and Molden made the third team. Roanoke junior Josh Freund is the player of the year, Randolph-Macon’s Josh Merkel is the coach of the year, Bridgewater freshman Dimetri Chambers is the rookie of the year, and Washington and Lee senior Nicholas George received the scholar/athlete award.

Women

The top-seeded E&H women fell to second-seeded Randolph-Macon 72-68 in their championship game Sunday before the men’s contest. The Wasps rallied from a 68-62 deficit in the last three minutes to tie the score, but the Yellow Jackets went back ahead with 24 seconds remaining. They were able to end an 11-game E&H winning streak.

Randolph-Macon sophomore center Kelly Williams was the MVP of the women’s tourney after producing 31 points and 20 rebounds in the title game. Also the league’s player of the year, she totaled 63 rebounds in three games to break the tourney record.

E&H junior Taylor Blevins and sophomore Peyton Williams (a Northwood graduate) were selected to the all-tourney team. In the championship game, Blevins had 17 points and nine rebounds; Williams totaled 11 points, five rebounds and three steals; and Chloe Harris contributed 14 points, six boards, five steals and three assists.

With a 64-60 win over Washington and Lee in Saturday’s semis, the E&H women tied the 2001-02 squad’s school record for wins in a season with 22. Sophomore Sydney McKinney made big plays at the end of the semifinal win and finished with a team-high 14 points. Blevins added 10 points, and Williams contributed seven points, six rebounds and three steals.

On Monday the E&H women (22-6) received an at-large bid to their 64-team NCAA Division III field. It marks the first time in program history the Wasps have advanced to the national tourney. They are scheduled to play Roger Williams University (23-5) of Bristol, Rhode Island, on Friday in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

E&H men 82, Randolph 69

Friday, Feb. 23

RANDOLPH (69)

  Hooper 23, Fields 12, Smith 11, Ford 9, Goble 5, Toe 3, Dula 2, Jacoby 2, Loving 2, Robinson 0, Hayden 0, Schlick 0, Lee 0, Vanhorn 0.

E&H (82)

  Wynn 20, Shelor 15, Spencer 13, Branscomb 13, Hendricks 9, McLean 4, Suggs 4, Molden 2, Felty 2, Davis 0, Walker 0, Kestner 0, Roache 0, Clarke 0.

  Halftime – E&H 46-27. 3-point goals – Randolph 7 (Hooper 3, Fields, Smith 3), E&H 6 (Shelor 3, Branscomb 2, McLean).

 

E&H men 78, Eastern Mennonite 76

Saturday, Feb. 24

EASTERN MENNONITE (76)

  Jones 24, Harris-Wynn 18, Latimer 17, Jones 6, Clower 4, Caldwell 4, Hill 2, McCants 1, Thomas 0, Hansen 0, Ridlen 0, Simmons 0.

E&H (78)

  Branscomb 18, Suggs 18, Molden 17, Wynn 13, Spencer 7, McLean 4, Hendricks 1, Shelor 0, Clarke 0.

  Halftime – E&H 48-37. 3-point goals – Eastern Mennonite 12 (Jones 5, Harris-Winn 2, Latimer 2, Jones 2, Clower), E&H 8 (Suggs 2, Molden 5, Spencer).

 

E&H men 72, Roanoke 70

Sunday, Feb. 25

E&H (72)

  Branscomb 29, Shelor 24, Molden 8, Hendricks 6, McLean 3, Wynn 2, Suggs 0.

ROANOKE (70)

  Freund 20, Davis 19, Miles 10, Reed 10, Mikalauskas 5, Elks 4, Jordan 2, Sumpter 0, Vosbug 0.

  Halftime – Roanoke 40-38. 3-point goals – E&H 11 (Branscomb 4, Shelor 2, Molden 2, Hendricks 2, McLean), Roanoke 5 (Davis, Miles, Reed 2, Mikalauskas).

 

E&H women 64,

Washington and Lee 60

Saturday, Feb. 24

W&L (60)

  Perszyk 21, Popp 12, Redding 10, Smithey 6, Casey 6, Kelly 5, Ayer 0, Hughes 0, Carrandi 0.

E&H (64)

  McKinney 14, Blevins 10, Stafford 8, Williams 7, Logan 6, Johnston 5, Harris 5, Blackburn 5, Cooper 2, Penn 2, Salyer 0.

W&L 17  14  16  13—60

E&H 14  18  22  10—64

  3-point goals – W&L 3 (Popp, Casey 2), E&H 5 (Stafford, Williams 2, Johnston, Harris).

 

Randolph-Macon 72,

E&H women 68

Sunday, Feb. 25

  Williams 31, Wade 13, Reynolds 9, Knobloch 8, Woods 8, Wisner 3, Arrington 0.

E&H (68)

  Blevins 17, Harris 14, Williams 11, Stafford 8, McKinney 8, Logan 4, Johnston 4, Penn 2, Blackburn 0, Cooper 0.

Randolph-Macon 25  14  18  15—72

E&H 20  18  20  10—68

  3-point goals – Randolph-Macon 3 (Knobloch 2, Wisner), E&H 1 (Williams).

 

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