The Virginia Wesleyan College women’s basketball team edged Methodist 77-75 for its third straight win in a road contest Wednesday, Nov. 3 in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Junior NiAsia Caldwell led the Marlins in scoring, posting a career-high 31 points on 12 of 19 shooting, including five three-pointers. It marked the second time in three games that a Marlin had a 30-point-performance as sophomore Jayla Harris scored 35 points against Ferrum College Nov. 22.
Caldwell was perfect through the first quarter and the beginning of the second quarter, making her first five baskets to score 12 of VWC’s first 13 points. Harris, the team’s leading scorer thus far this season, finished with evening 23 points while junior Naeemah Morris earned a team-high six rebounds.
Starting the game for the Marlins were Caldwell, Harris, Morris, Sophomore Amanda Gerni and Freshman Megan Sherman.
The Marlins got off to a slow start, falling behind 18-11 after the first quarter following a 14-4 run by the Monarchs during which VWC was 2-12 shooting. However, the Marlins quickly recovered from their deficit with a strong second quarter, outscoring the Monarchs 26-15 and surging ahead to take a 37-33 lead at the half.
The lead at the break was one that the Marlins never lost. The closest MU came to retaking the lead was midway through the fourth quarter, tying the game 63-63 after a layup by Sydney Bryan. The Marlins quickly snuffed out the possibility of losing their lead with back-to-back three pointers, which lifted them to the finish. The Monarchs had a chance in the final minute, trailing by four points, but missed four straight free-throw attempts.
Overall, for the night, the Marlins finished at 39.1 percent shooting (27-69) from the floor including 35.5 percent on three point attempts (11-31). Both numbers exceeded the Marlins’ season averages. From the free-throw line, VWC shot 46.2 percent (12-26).
For Methodist, Christian Sanders led the Monarchs with 20 points while in addition to eight rebounds. Lillian Geehring followed behind with 15 points while Jalisa Campbell finished with a double-double earning 11 points and 11 rebounds. The home team finished with a season-best 50.0 percent shooting (22-44), including 57.1 percent in the second half, and made 64.1 percent (27-44) of their free throw attempts.
As the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) play starts to heat up, Virginia Wesleyan College is looking to improve upon last year’s 6-10 conference record under the leadership of Head Coach Stephany Dunmyer who is in her 14th year coaching at the school. The Marlins will aim to reestablish their success from the 2014-15 season when they won their first-ever conference title.
Wednesday night’s game against Methodist (1-6) was the Marlins’ second game in a stretch of five straight road games.
Virginia Wesleyan College women’s basketball 4-2 overall, 1-0 in conference traveled to Randolph College who is 2-3 overall and 0-1 in conference, Saturday Dec. 3. Virginia Wesleyan College coming off of a good team win was looking to make easy work of the Wildcats who were 12th in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference heading into the game with the Marlins.
The first quarter of the contest was a high scoring affair, heading into the second quarter the score was 24-20 with Randolph ahead.
The game continued to stay tight throughout the rest of the first half, ending with the score tied 43-43. The second half was more of the same, the game was tight all the way to the end, with Randolph shutting down the Marlins for the last 32 second of the game and sealing the win 74-72.
The real story about this game was the great game had by a Marlin. VWC’s sophomore guard Amanda Gerni had the biggest 3-point scoring barrage in years. Gerni connected for 10-14 from three-point land giving her 30 on the night.
With this scoring output, Gerni tied the ODAC record for most 3-pointers made in a game. The other record holders are Eastern Mennonite’s Emily Mullet who connected for 10 in a game against Shenandoah in 2000-2001, and Mullet did it again against Washington and Lee.
“It feels really good to know that I am in the record books here at Wesleyan,” Mullet said.
Gerni,with those 10 3-pointers set a new school record. The previous holder was VWC’s Jill Weston. Gerni has set the bar high
(Photo: Department of Sports Information)