VMI Wins, Baucom Breaks Coaching Wins Record

From VMI athletics:

LEXINGTON, Va. -- In an impressive farewell to Cameron Hall, senior forward Stan Okoye poured in 34 points on 10-of-20 shooting including seven 3-point goals to help lift the VMI Keydets over visiting Longwood University 94-80, Saturday afternoon at Cameron Hall.

Not only did the win send the team's three seniors, Okoye, Joe Carr and Nick Gore off on a winning note, but it gave head coach Duggar Baucom his 117th win at VMI, the most all-time in the program's storied history.

Okoye was deadly from the outside, hitting seven of his 11 three-point attempts. His seven made three-pointers tie him for third in a single game effort in program history. The forward capped his Cameron Hall finale with 16 rebounds to give him 10 double-doubles on the year along with his seventh 30-point game of the season.

Three other Keydets joined Okoye in double-digits, with D.J. Covington scoring a game third-best 16 points to go with his five rebounds and two blocks. Rodney Glasgow and Brian Brown each scored 11 points as Glasgow rounded his double-double with 10 assists.

Longwood freshman forward Michael Kessens led the Lancers with 17 points, followed closely by Jeylani Dublin's 14 with 12 rebounds. Tristian Carey and Karl Ziegler, who came off the bench, each scored 13 points while Lucas Woodhouse and David Robinson rounded out the double-digit scoring with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

VMI (13-16, 8-8 BSC) logged a season-high 16 three pointers as a team, besting the 14 treys the Keydets scored against Shenandoah (Jan. 2) and The Citadel (Nov. 10). The Keydets were 16-37 (43.2 percent) from beyond the arc, aided by 12-23 (52.2 percent) in the first half. VMI was a stout 48.5 percent from the field, sinking 33 of their 68 attempts while going 12-14 at the free throw line.

The Lancers, who fell to 7-24 and 4-11 in the Big South, saw their three-game conference winning streak come to an end, went 31-64 (48.4 percent) from the floor, but hit just six of their 18 three-point attempts. Longwood struggled at the line as well, making just 12 of their 18 attempts (66.7 percent).

Despite 16 rebounds from Okoye, including 13 defensive boards, the Lancers out-rebounded VMI 38-34. But a strong defensive effort by the Keydets helped cover the difference as VMI came up with eight steals while the Lancers turned the ball over 16 times. VMI made the Lancers pay for their errors, putting up 27 points on turnovers.

Glasgow accounted for nearly half of VMI assists (10) as the Keydets finished with 25. Gore dished out five while Okoye chipped in another four.

VMI started the game with a rain of 3-point shots, generating their first 18 points of the contest via the trey with Okoye knocking in three of the triples.

The Keydets trailed 15-12 at the 13:11 mark on a jumper by Michael Kessens, but VMI came back to knot it at 15-15 on a Nick Gore 3-ball and took the lead for good at the 12:17 mark on another 3-pointer by Glasgow. The Keydets closed out the opening half on a 43-27 count, thanks in part to a 16-0 run over a span of 3:11 that broke the game open following back-to-back 3-pointers by Gore.

The Keydets led 58-42 at the break and built as much as a 21-point lead early in the second half on Okoye's sixth 3-pointer of the game at 17:58, but the Lancers would not make it easy the rest of the way - twice trimming the deficit to 12 points and trailing just 86-74 following Jeylani Dublin's jumper with 6:46 left. But the Keydets quickly answered with eight straight points on a Covington free throw and dunk, a Brown 3-pointer, and a pair of Okoye free throws that quieted the run and secured a senior day win.

VMI will await the results of other Big South Conference games this afternoon to find out when they will begin play in next week's 2013 Visitmyrtlebeach Big South Basketball Championships.

VMI Head Coach Duggar Baucom -

"I think we got off to a little sluggish start - like there was no energy to start with. Any time you have that much pageantry and ceremony that all builds up, and then you have to play the game. I thought after the first media time-out we got a little collected. We played well in the first half and well enough in the second half."

"We executed and shared the ball and Rodney Glasgow was really good with eight assists in the first half. I was certainly pleased the way we shot the ball in the first half , 12 three's- that was huge. And Rodney did a great defensive job on Tristan Carey especially in the first half."

"Stan Okoye was 13 of 20 in three-point shooting this week. We'll win some games if he keeps doing that."

"It's a credit to our kids, I don't think many people thought we had a chance last week after getting beat by 40 in our sixth loss in a row, but they persevered and worked hard in the practices leading up to the games."

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