Featured Image: Sophomore Khai Seargeant goes for a free throw against ODU on Nov. 6. James Hill | Courtesy
“Before the season I see a team ready to compete, no matter who the opponent is,” first-year basketball player Paul Anderson said. With competition on their minds, the Marlins charged into the season opener basketball game against the Monarchs of Old Dominion University, a DI school, on Monday, Nov. 6.
The Marlins found themselves facing ODU in front of a crowd of 5,371 at the Chartway Arena in Norfolk located on ODU’s campus.
The Marlins started off strong when ODU failed to take the jump, but faced a quick turnaround when the Monarchs came for an offensive rebound. This set up the Monarchs to take five points putting the Marlins at a deficit. The Marlins did not let up and their persistence paid off with senior Jordan Crump scoring the first points of the game on the Marlins side, floating in a three pointer jump after receiving an assist from Omari DeVeaux. The game continued to look up for the Marlins as Chaunce Jenkins was fouled by ODU. DeVeaux put in one of two free throws.
The Marlins kept a tight game, with ODU putting in shot-for-shot, keeping close. ODU was put on their toes after coming into the game with a dangerous degree of over confidence demonstrated in their reflection. An article from Harry Minium on the ODU Athletics website said the ODU team was “taller, stronger and faster than Wesleyan.”
Despite continued pressure, VWU was at a disadvantage against the hustle being put out by ODU. As the Marlins energy started to fade, ODU widened the gap.
Not satisfied with the change in pace, VWU called a time-out with 12:26 left in the first half. The team huddle clearly had the intended effect with the Marlins charging back into the half with senior Eric Rowland making an offensive rebound setting the stage for grad student Miles Wallace to assist junior Amarion Wilson.
Shocked by the newfound energy, ODU quickly called a time-out of their own. In their huddle ODU players were urged by Head Coach Jeff Jones to “hit the Floor to retrieve the ball.” Thankfully for the Marlins, their enthusiasm didn’t let up and they kept the Monarchs at bay, closing the gap and making the game ever more intimate.
That was until a foul made on Crump aided by an official TV time-out messed up the Marlins flow. Instead of swimming back in to take the lead, the Marlins found themselves maintaining the current amount of points on the board. Once a foul was committed by Marlin sophomore Khai Seargeant, the Marlins found themselves starting to drown, letting up several layups and free throws, putting the Marlins in the deep end for a 40-26 deficit to make up in the second half.
Invigorated by halftime, the Marlins went into the next half swinging hard. Not a single shot was scored outside a free throw for the first two minutes of the second half.
Led by first-year Braden Justice, the Marlins proceeded to go shot-for-shot for the first quarter of the second half before an official TV time-out gave the Marlins a chance to take a much needed rest.
Coming out of the TV time-out, the Marlins appeared to be playing a more defensive game against the calculated ODU strategy. The Marlins, thrown off by the change of pace, applied the same intensity they had at the beginning of the game, leading to a series of fouls committed by the Marlins. This gave the ODU Monarchs the opportunity to increase their lead further with a few quick free throws that put the Marlins at a now 24-point deficit.
With the new pace of the game and an increasing score to make up, the Marlins called a time-out to further adjust their strategy.
The next five minutes of the game were intense but uneventful as the Marlins fought viciously to make up the points and the Monarchs kept a tight defense trying to keep them out.
The Marlins persistence paid off with a series of quick layups that brought the team into the final minutes and final scoring opportunities. But the ODU defense did not let up. The Marlins found themselves increasingly squeezed for time and, with one final three pointer, the Marlins were at a loss with a final score of 57-71.
Even in the loss, the Marlins are optimistic for the future. “The area of our team is how everyone believes in each other,” Anderson said. With that outlook, the Marlins continue their season to keep working upwards.
By: Rowan Stuart