ATLANTA -- An outstanding second-half performance by Khory Moore produced career-high totals for Virginia Wesleyan College's sophomore guard, but it wasn't enough to help the No. 8 Marlins a sub-par scoring afternoon at No. 7 Emory University.
While Moore (Arlington/Wakefield School)led all scoring with 37 points, including seven triples, the Marlins did not produce another double digit scorer in the 77-64 non-conference loss to the Eagles. VWC entered the game with three or more players in double figure scoring per game in nine contests, but hit only 35.7% from the field, the team's second lowest production of the season.
A slow start from the field hindered that production at Emory (10-1), where the host Eagles improved to 7-0 on the home court, which included a recent 84-65 victory over a previously undefeated Bates College team. VWC's Marlins (9-2) hit just 26.3% from the field in the first half, while the Eagles nearly doubled that, connecting on 51.9%, led by 6-foot-8 senior Alex Foster (Portland, Ore./Catlin Gabel), who hit 7-of-12 points en route to scoring 16 points to lead the host team to a 33-24 lead at halftime.
Foster cooled off from the field in the second half to hit only 4-of-9 shots, but added to his point totals by canning 9-of-9 free throws on his way to scoring 35 points. VWC's team hit only 4-of-6 freebies in the second half.
While Foster's field goal production slowed down, Moore's picked up impressively. He nailed 10-of-14 field goals, including 5-of-7 from three-point range, and led the Marlins with a 29-point second-half effort. His game-high total of 37 points ties the fourth highest effort in VWC history and is the highest scoring effort by any Marlin player since 1992 when Rick Chalk scored 37 points against Emory & Henry College. Moore's seven triples ties the third highest total in VWC history and is the best showing from three-point range since 2009 when Travis Meyer hit seven in a conference tournament game against Hampden-Sydney College.
Virginia Wesleyan led through the early minutes in Atlanta, opening up a 13-5 lead by the 13:41 point of the first half. But, Emory scored eight straight points to tie the game, helped by triples from Will Trawick (Beford, N.Y./Fox Lane) and Foster. Senior Breven Lyons (Newport News/Warwick) hit a jumper to return the lead before Emory grabbed the lead for good. The Eagles scored eight unanswered points, including six by Michael Florin (Port Washington, N.Y./Long Island Lutheran), to move in front 21-15.
Greg Montgomery (Virginia Beach/Princess Anne), Kaelin Poe (Hampton/Kecoughtan), and Moore all hit key shots to keep the Marlins within four points late into the half. But, Emory scored the last five points to take a 33-24 lead into halftime.
Emory used an 15-5 opening run in the second half to open up a 48-28 lead in the first five minutes of play. While Virginia Wesleyan connected on just 2-of-10 field goals in the first seven minutes of the second half, Emory scored steadily and extended its lead to 54-29 with 13:09 on the clock.
After Trawick hit a triple to leave VWC trailing 61-39, Moore took over for the Marlins. He hit seven straight shots, including four triples, netting 18 points in a span of six minutes to cut into the Emory lead. Sophomore Kendric Washington (Suffolk/Nansemond River) scored on a layup and rookie Tyrell Thomas (Bowie, Md./Gonzaga College, D.C.) nailed a triple to close out VWC scoring in the final minute of play.
Montgomery finished with eight points for the Marlins and tied Poe for the team lead in rebounding, each with seven.
Emory finished with three Eagles in double digit scoring, including Trawick with 19 points. Florin finished with 12. The Eagles hit 11 triples overall, led by Trawick with five. VWC connected for eight treys. Foster led all rebounding with 10.
Virginia Wesleyan returns to competition on Wednesday, Jan. 7, when the Marlins travel to Lynchburg, Va. to face the Hornets (8-3, 1-1) of Lynchburg College in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference game beginning at 7 p.m.