LEXINGTON, Va. – Sophomore Sean Conway scored a career-high 19 points Tuesday as the VMI men’s basketball team defeated visiting Longwood University 84-71 in non-conference play.
Conway, a 6-5 guard from Fairfield, Conn., hit 8-of-14 shots and netted 12 of his points after intermission. He collected five rebounds with three steals and hit a pair of three pointers from distance in addition to a traditional three-point play in a key late game situation.
VMI led 37-36 at halftime but didn’t pull away until midway through the second half. An 11-4 run turned a 55-53 edge into a nine-point lead with 9:33 on the game clock. A 6-0 surge five minutes later boosted the Keydet lead to 74-62 with 4:34 remaining and VMI held a double-digit edge the rest of the way.
Senior guard Greg Parham scored a game-high 22 points, hitting four three-pointers and adding six rebounds, four assists and two steals. Jake Stephens posted 13 points and seven rebounds while Kamdyn Curfman had 11 points. Myles Lewis scored six and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and Louis Tang had nine points and eight rebounds in just 17 minutes of action.
Juan Munoz led the Lancers (0-2) with 18 points and four rebounds, and Justin Hill had 15 points and six assists. Christian Wilson added 11 points and seven rebounds. The stingy VMI defense held Longwood to just 6-of-26 shooting (23%) from three-point land, including a 2-13 mark (15%) in the game’s final 20 minutes.
The Keydets had a 46-34 rebounding advantage and had an edge from the free-throw line, sinking 20-23 (87%) to the visitors 13-22 (59%).
VMI (2-1) travels to 16th ranked Virginia Tech Thursday for a non-conference game at 8 p.m.
Quotes from Head Coach Dan Earl:
“They (Longwood) were playing physical, playing tough, and I thought we had too many turnovers, but in the second half I thought we were able to get the ball to Jake Stephens and score around the block and we did a better job of slipping screens on the offensive end. Defensively, I think we did enough, but we still have to get better in that department. (Justin) Hill for them was driving it downhill and (Juan) Munoz is a very good player and we were trying to keep him in front and also keep them off the boards. Overall, a good team effort and a bunch of guys contributed.”
“We like to shoot the three, but we got a little too three happy in the first half particularly late in the first half. In the second half I thought the ball moved a little bit more – we were able to score around the basket a couple more times. Kamdyn Curfman and Myles Lewis had a couple more drives and that opened it up more for our style of three point shots.”
“One of our things we want to do is be strong with the basketball and get to the line more often and we were able to do that.”
“Sean (Conway) is a good player and it starts with his shooting, but I think he showed that if they play too close he can get by and get to the rim. I thought overall he played a very good game. Greg Parham has the ability to get past his guy and go north-south into the lane and I thought he did a pretty good job of that and also made some threes.”
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