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MVP Badger Leads R-MC to ODAC Championship

MVP Badger Leads R-MC to ODAC Championship

SALEM, Va. - Senior Marcus Badger (Plymouth Meeting, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh) was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player with 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the title game as the top-seeded Randolph-Macon men's basketball team outlasted No. 2 Virginia Wesleyan 81-74 in overtime in the ODAC Championship Game Sunday afternoon at the Salem Civic Center.

The top-ranked Yellow Jackets (26-2) won their sixth ODAC title and their 23rd consecutive game, a program record. R-MC earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

After playing from behind for most of regulation, R-MC never trailed in overtime. Badger hit a pair of free throws on the Yellow Jackets' first OT possession before two foul shots by the Marlins (23-5) tied it at 68. Senior Akeem Holmes (King William, Va./King William) made a layup on a great pass from junior Lamont Moore (Waverly, Va./Tidewater Academy) and Moore sank two free throws as R-MC matched its largest lead at 72-68 with under three minutes remaining. A three-pointer by Nick Doyle pulled VWC within one before a jumper by Holmes pushed R-MC's lead back to three at 74-71 with 2:12 remaining. Badger added a free throw and senior Chris Hamilton (Bellbrook, Ohio/Bellbrook) hit two from the charity stripe to make it 77-71 with one minute remaining. Doyle nailed another trey 10 seconds later to make it 77-74 before a layup by senior Joe Hassell (Portsmouth, Va./Indian River) made the score 79-74. Hamilton hit another two free throws with one second remaining to make the final 81-74.

The Yellow Jackets trailed 62-58 with 5:30 remaining in regulation before three-pointers by Moore and Badger gave R-MC a 64-62 edge, its first lead since 8-7 early in the first half. Hassell made a layup with 1:25 remaining to make it 66-62. The Marlins scored on a follow by Kaelin Poe with 1:01 to make it a two-point contest. R-MC committed a turnover on its next possession, setting up a final shot for VWC. Breven Lyons missed a jumper, Cameron Owens grabbed the rebound and tossed the ball out to Lyons, who sank a long jumper as time expired to force the extra period.

R-MC trailed 45-38 early in the second half before an 8-1 run tied it at 46. VWC scored five straight to push its advantage back out to five at 51-46 before the Yellow Jackets would tie it again at 57-57 with 6:45 remaining.

Badger and Hassell made layups to give R-MC a quick 4-0 lead at the start of the contest. The Yellow Jackets led 8-5 before the Marlins used a 12-2 run to take a 17-10 with 11 minutes remaining in the first period. R-MC narrowed the deficit to four at 21-17 before a 10-1 spurt by VWC made it 31-18 with 6:30 left in the half. The Yellow Jackets scored 10 straight to cut it to three with three minutes left. The Marlins would take a 39-34 lead to the locker room at intermission. Badger and Hassell both had nine points for R-MC.

Hassell finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, joining Badger on the All-Tournament Team. Hamilton went 10 for 10 from the free throw line as part of his 12 points. Holmes had 11 points and Moore contributed 10 points and four assists for the Yellow Jackets.

R-MC set a season high with a field goal percentage of 59.1% (26 for 44). The Yellow Jackets were 6 for 10 on three-pointers (60.0%) and 23 for 28 on free throws (82.1%). It was R-MC's third win over VWC this season.

Doyle led the Marlins with 16 points.

Randolph-Macon will learn its NCAA Tournament information during Monday's online selection show at 12:30 p.m. ET.