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Neeley Leads R-MC Men’s Hoops to ODAC Regular Season Crown

Luke Neeley with basketball on the perimeter
Luke Neeley

HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, Va. – Junior Luke Neeley (Orange, Va./Woodberry Forest) scored 18 points, one away from his career high, and hit a career-best six three-pointers as the Randolph-Macon men's basketball team registered a 67-56 win at Hampden-Sydney in ODAC action Wednesday evening.

Coupled with Emory & Henry's 92-87 loss to Washington and Lee, the Yellow Jackets (18-6, 12-3 ODAC) clinched the ODAC regular-season crown and will be the No. 1 seed in next week's conference tournament in Salem, Va.

R-MC learned earlier in the day that it was ranked second in the NCAA South Region, swapping spots with Emory from last week's rankings.

The Tigers fell to 6-18 overall, 3-12 in ODAC play.

Neeley hit six of nine shots from beyond the arc. Junior Darryl Williams (Columbia, Md./Glenelg Country) made a pair of treys in scoring 10. Junior Grayson Midulla (Glen Allen, Va./Glen Allen) went 3 for 3 on treys for nine points.

The Yellow Jackets sank a season-high 17 three-pointers, going 17 for 36 from long range for 47.2%. R-MC hit just 5 for 19 (26.3%) inside the arc. The Yellow Jackets had eight difference players hit at least one three-pointer.

Sophomore Korey Turner (Midlothian, Va./Amelia Academy) and Neeley hit three-pointers to give R-MC a 6-4 lead five minutes into the contest. H-SC scored eight straight points to go ahead 12-6 with 13 minutes left in the first half. Neeley had three treys in a 17-5 run as the Yellow Jackets took a 23-17 advantage with 9:40 remaining. R-MC was up 28-24 before three-balls by freshman Terry Woods (Burlington, N.C./Burlington School) and Williams extended the lead 34-24 with 2:25 left. The Tigers hit a pair of free throws with two minutes remaining to make it 34-26 at intermission. The Yellow Jackets had 10 of their 11 first-half field goals from beyond the arc. R-MC shot 10 for 19 (52.6%) on treys, just 1 of 10 (10%) inside the arc. Neeley hit 5 of 7 three-pointers for 15 points.

Sophomore Corey Bays (Bel Air, Md./CM Wright) buried a three-pointer to cap an 11-7 spurt to start the second half as the R-MC lead grew to 12 at 45-33 with 16 minutes left. A trey by freshman Buzz Anthony (Arnold, Md./Archbishop Spalding) gave the Yellow Jackets their biggest lead at 63-47 with 7:15 remaining. Anthony went 4 for 4 from the free throw line down the stretch in helping R-MC claim the 67-56 victory.

The Yellow Jackets had 19 assists on 22 field goals. Turner had six assists with no turnovers. Anthony also recorded six assists and paced the victors with five rebounds.

Randolph-Macon concludes the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 17 with a 2 p.m. ODAC contest at Washington and Lee.

South Region Rankings (records through games of Feb. 10)

1 Emory, 18-4

2 Randolph-Macon, 17-6

3 Sul Ross State, 18-5

4 Emory & Henry, 18-5

5 Maryville, 17-5

6 East Texas Baptist, 19-4

7 Methodist, 15-7

8 Roanoke, 16-7