ASHEVILLE, N.C. - QJ Peterson and Rodney Glasgow combined for 72 points and each posted a double-double, helping their VMI Keydets prevail in a Big South shootout with the UNC Asheville Bulldogs, 109-105, Tuesday night in Asheville, N.C. Both Peterson (37) and Glasgow (35) finished one point off their career high scoring efforts, while Glasgow had 10 assists and Peterson led VMI with a career high 15 rebounds.
Asheville's (10-11, 4-3 Big South) Andrew Rowsey, who is from Lexington and starred at Rockbridge County High School, fueled a 13-5 run to give his team the lead, 85-82, with 9:09 left. Rowsey had nine points of his own during that spurt and the margin was 87-84 when VMI (11-9, 4-3 BSC) rallied, using a 9-2 push to seize a four-point advantage, 93-89, with 5:55 on the clock. Glasgow had five points and one of his 10 helpers during the push that gave the Keydets the lead for good.
In addition to the huge nights from Peterson and Glasgow, the Keydets got help from D.J. Covington, who battled foul trouble to log a 13-point, six-block evening. VMI shot better than 50 percent (11 of 21, 52.4%) from three-point range for the third time this season, and is now 3-0 in those contests.
The Bulldogs were paced by Rowsey, who had 35 points on 10 of 18 shooting, the most points VMI had surrendered to one player since March 7, 2013.
Before the contest could even get underway, the weather played havoc with scheduling, as tip time was moved multiple times due to the winter weather in the area.
When the contest did start, it lived up to its billing as a showcase for the conference's top two freshmen. Rowsey had 16 points in the first 11 minutes, and the Bulldogs sprinted out to a 37-26 lead at the 9:01 mark. Peterson led his team back into the game by scoring 12 points in the remainder of the half, including six straight at one point, to help draw VMI within one, 56-55, at halftime.
The first half saw Peterson lead all scorers with 22 points in just 15 minutes, while Glasgow added 13, including a three-pointer with time winding down that made it a one-point game at the break. That was not the first half story, however, as Asheville shot 19 of 31 (61.3%) but was only up by a point in large part due to VMI's 15-0 edge in offensive rebounding. Phillip Anglade and Peterson had four apiece to fuel a 13-0 edge in second chance points.
The late first half stretch was a sign of things to come for VMI, as the Keydets scored the second half's first six points to take their first lead of the night, going up 61-56 with 18:41 left. That margin reached a high point of seven before Asheville scored seven straight to tie the game, 72-72, at the 13:08 mark, and then the freshmen emerged once more.
Peterson scored five straight to give VMI a 77-72 cushion, but Rowsey answered by scoring seven points during the Bulldogs' 9-2 run, a push that gave them a 81-79 lead with 10:38 to play. Glasgow answered with a three, but four straight Asheville points made it a 13-5 push and set the stage for VMI's response, an answer that would give the Keydets the lead for good.
After Asheville's blistering shooting performance in the first half, the Keydet defense answered in the final 20 minutes by holding the home team to 15 of 43 from the floor (34.9%) for a total performance of 34 for 74 (45.9%). VMI went 36 of 78 (46.2%) and outrebounded Asheville 48-45, including 20-12 on the offensive glass. That led to a 23-4 edge in second chance points.
In addition to Rowsey, Asheville was led by fifth-year senior Jaron Lane's career highs in both points (27) and rebounds (15).
The game marked VMI's fourth consecutive contest decided by less than five points, which is the first time that has occurred since Dec. 31, 2008 - Jan. 10, 2009. In addition, Peterson's huge night offensively moves his team to 11-1 when he scores at least 19 points this season, and Tuesday's win marks VMI's first in Kimmel Arena, where it had previously gone 0-2.
Finally, Covington's six blocks were part of a 10-block night for the Keydets, the most rejections they had registered against a Division I opponent since Nov. 21, 2012, when they turned aside 10 Old Dominion shots.
VMI basketball will return to action Friday, taking on the Presbyterian College Blue Hose at Cameron Hall. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
QUOTES - VMI Head Coach Duggar Baucom
"The guys played really, really good. We got off to a slow start. There were some things out of our control. I thought we competed and played hard and carried out the game plan. I couldn't be more proud of a bunch of guys."
"After the Winthrop loss Saturday, I called the guys into my hotel room and told them, 'this will be a successful road trip if we go 1-1. To beat one of the top teams in the Big South South Division on the road is huge."
"Rodney (Glasgow) and Q.J. (Peterson) were special. D.J. (Covington) got us going being a force inside. Several double-doubles out there."
"Andrew Rowsey played really well. We knew we would get his best shot - and we did. We were throwing different things at him and he stayed poised and composed. We were still able to overcome Jaron Lane in career-highs in points and rebounds."
"They played about as well as they could play in the first half, but what kept us in the game was offensive rebounds. They have big guys, but our guys are warriors and they competed. It was a collective effort tonight by everybody who took the floor."