VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – With time winding down, it was only fitting that Lamont Steward capped off his career-night with the game-winner for the Virginia Wesleyan University men's basketball team. Down 69-68, the Marlins pushed the ball up the floor and found Steward in the paint. The junior corralled the pass, finished the lay up and drew the foul, all in one swift motion. He would go on to sink the free throw and with just nine seconds left, the Emory & henry was unable to answer.
That shot helped propel the Marlins to a 71-69 victory over Emory & Henry Saturday evening in the Jane P. Batten Student Center. With the win, the Marlins improve to 11-12 on the year and 9-5 in conference action. E&H slides to 15-8 on the season (8-6 ODAC).
The finish gave a brief look into the game as it was thrilling for the full 40 minutes. The Wasps got ahead early, running the lead up to as much as 13 through the first 12 minutes. Virginia Wesleyan wasn't willing to back down though, slowly chipping away at the deficit. The Marlins would finish the period with a Corey Pelham 3-pointer and a Tyree Golston lay up to cut the Wasps lead to just 34-32.
Coming out of halftime, the Marlins took their first lead on a Steward free throw just two minutes in. The two sides would remain within seven points of each other for the remainder of the period. With just over a minute left though, Emory & Henry had a six point lead. The Marlins would go on an 8-0 run to close out the game with the previously mentioned Steward "and-1" earning the VWU victory.
Steward finished the night with a double-double, registering a career-high 28 points and a career-high 13 boards. Pelham would chip in 15 points on the night while Tim Fisher rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12.
Men's basketball will return to action at 7 p.m. on Wednesday as the squad heads to Shenandoah for a battle with the Hornets.