ASHLAND, Va. – Junior Lamont Moore (Waverly, Va./Tidewater Academy) matched his career high with 18 points on his 21st birthday as top-ranked Randolph-Macon was edged by Virginia Wesleyan 49-47 in the Sectional Finals of the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament Saturday evening at Crenshaw Gymnasium.
The Yellow Jackets (28-3) had their 25-game win streak snapped. The streak began against the Marlins (27-5) on Dec. 1. R-MC had defeated VWC three times this season before Saturday's contest.
Moore nailed a three-pointer with just under four minutes remaining to give the Yellow Jackets a 47-44 advantage. Khory Moore hit two free throws for the Marlins with 2:27 left to make it a one-point game at 47-46. Following a turnover, Greg Montgomery make a layup with 2:00 to go to put VWC up 48-47. Breven Lyons sank a free throw with four seconds left to put the Marlins up two. The Yellow Jackets missed a jumper at the buzzer to fall just short.
VWC used an 8-2 run to take a seven-point lead at 36-29 with 13:20 remaining. A jumper by sophomore Michael Taylor (Apex, N.C./Grace Christian) capped a 12-3 spurt as R-MC took a 41-39 lead with 6:45 left.
The Marlins jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead, but Moore scored R-MC's first nine points as the Yellow Jackets took a 9-6 advantage seven minutes into the contest. A Moore dunk with eight minutes remaining gave the Yellow Jackets a 16-12 advantage. VWC used an 11-1 spurt to take a 23-17 lead with three minutes left before R-MC closed the half on a 6-1 run to trail 24-23 at the break. Moore finished the half with 13 points and six rebounds.
Moore went 4 for 8 from the floor in the contest, including 2 for 2 on three-pointers. He was also a perfect 8 for 8 from the free throw line. Senior Joe Hassell (Portsmouth, Va./Indian River) had eight points and six boards for the Yellow Jackets. Taylor added seven points, all in the second half. Senior Akeem Holmes (King William, Va./King William) pulled down six rebounds and blocked three shots.
Montgomery led the Marlins with 14 points.