EMORY, Va. – The Ferrum College Men's Basketball Team (3-2) hit nine three-pointers and 18 free throws which proved to be just enough to hold off Emory & Henry College (2-4) by a 75-74 score Wednesday evening at Bob Johnson Court in non-conference action. The game featured six ties and eight lead changes and the largest lead for either team was seven points as nearly the entire contest was played within two possessions either way.
The two squads went back and forth early with Emory & Henry taking a 13-8 lead at the 14:17 mark of the first half. An 8-0 run by the Panthers put them up 16-15 but the Wasps responded to retake the lead and go up 22-18 with 7:23 to go before the break. FC scored the next 10 points to lead 28-22, and although E&H did regain the lead in the final 90 seconds of the half, five points in a row to go into the break by Ferrum made the score 33-29.
The early stage of the second half resembled its first-half counterpart but seven-straight points by Alek Ayer put the Panthers ahead, 44-37, for their largest lead of the game. Emory & Henry hung tight, answering each Ferrum basket with one of their own and never allowing the contest to escape its grasp. Down 63-58 with 7:33 to play, the Wasps went on an 8-2 run to lead 66-65 with 4:25 to go with six points coming from junior forward Brandon Self (Norfolk, Va.) during the spurt.
Ferrum finished the final 3:30 outscoring Emory & Henry, 10-8, narrowly escaping the John Rutledge King Center with the 75-74 victory.
Josh Grimard led all players with 22 points on seven-for-nine shooting including a six-for-eight performance at the line, seven rebounds and two assists. Ayer added 21 points for Ferrum, hitting a trio of three-pointers while Jordan Mann chipped in nine points off the bench. D'Andre Mullen had five points, five rebounds and four assists as well for the Panthers.
As a team, Ferrum shot 46.2 percent (24-for-52) from the field, collecting nine three-pointers and added 18 points at the free throw line despite a 51.4 percent (18-for-35) effort at the stripe. FC also had 36-33 lead on rebounds including 14-11 advantage on the offensive glass.
Self scored a team-high 20 points, 14 of which came in the second half, and added five rebounds and three blocks, on nine-for-12 shooting. Junior guard Myles Turner (Richmond, Va.) added 14 points, three boards and two assists while sophomore forward Chase Branscomb (Bristol, Tenn.) pitched in nine points off the bench. Freshman forward Alic Wynn (Asheville, N.C.) had eight points and 10 rebounds while sophomore guard John Shelor (Giles, Va.) notched eight points and junior guard Ryan Gravley (Austinville, Va.) had five points and seven assists.
The Wasps shot 30-for-57 (52.6%) from the floor, but were just nine-of-18 on free throws. E&H led 48-24 on points in the paint and 18-6 on second chance points, but the perimeter shooting of Ferrum proved to be the difference-maker.
Emory & Henry will return to Old Dominion Athletic Conference play on Saturday when it travels to face Hampden-Sydney College. The Wasps and Tigers will square off at 2:00 p.m.
-photo courtesy of Caleb Johnston, E&H '15