GREENSBORO, N.C. – Guilford's Liam Ward netted a game-high 28 points and tied teammate Jaylen Gore for game-high honors in rebounds (11), but it six points down the stretch by the Roanoke tandem of Efosa Edosomwan and Kasey Draper that made the difference as the Maroons escaped with a 60-57 victory at Ragan-Brown Field House on Tuesday, February 16th.
Ward, who enjoyed his second double-double of the season, led all scorers by knocking down 10-of-19 from the floor and 6-of-7 at the free throw line as Guilford slipped to 2-1 overall and 2-1 in ODAC play. He was joined in scoring by Jorden Davis and Joah Logan, who finished with nine points each. Julius Burch came off the bench to tally seven points and seven rebounds (four offensive) for the Quakers.
Ward, who snagged seven of his 11 rebounds on the defensive glass, was joined in double-digit boards by Gore, who hauled in five offensive. That duo provided Guilford with a 44-28 edge in total rebounds.
Roanoke (6-1, 5-0 ODAC) had three players reach double figures, including Draper, who scored a team-high 18 points. Edosomwan finished the game with 15 points after hitting 6-of-9 from the floor and Trent Dawson, who was 4-of-8 from the floor, came through with 11.
In a tightly contested game throughout, which resulted in 13 lead changes, Edosomwan forged the Maroons ahead 47-45 on a 3-pointer with 5:27 left in the second half. However, Ward answered with a layup to bring the game to a deadlock. Just under a minute later, following a foul by Nick Price, Burch provided the Quakers with a two-point cushion, 49-47.
An errant 3-pointer by Draper, followed by a free throw by Davis, allowed Guilford to stretch its lead to three with 3:27 remaining. Justin Kuthan answered with a layup for the Maroons before Draper forced the steal and converted the layup as Roanoke made a four-point turnaround to grab the 51-50 advantage with 2:42 left.
Ward briefly gave Guilford the lead back, following a layup, but it was a 3-pointer off the hand of Dawson that provided the Maroons with the 54-52 advantage. The back-and-forth battle continued with Ward knocking down a pair of free throws to pull the Quakers even at 54.
Edosomwan countered with a layup at the other end, at the 1:36 mark, but Ward answered back with a layup for Guilford. With the game tied at 56, Edosomwan knifed through the lane to give Roanoke a two-point lead with 47 seconds remaining. A foul on the Guilford possession by Justin Kuthan put Ward at the line, but he converted one-of-two attempts to give Roanoke a 58-57 lead. Draper knocked down two free throws over a 13-second span to force a late 3-point attempt by the Quakers, which fell short in the loss.
Roanoke closed out the second half by hitting 14-of-25 (56%) from the floor and 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Guilford was 11-of-28 (39.3%) from the floor and 2-of-13 from 3-point range in the second half.
The Guilford season continues on Friday, February 19th when Guilford hosts Lynchburg at 7 p.m. For more information on Guilford athletics check out www.guilfordquakers.com.