DAVIDSON, N.C. - A late second-half surge by the host Davidson Wildcats kept the VMI basketball team short of its comeback bid as the Keydets fell by a 74-51 score Tuesday night at John M. Belk Arena in Davidson, North Carolina.
Trailing 34-27 at the half, the Keydets (3-5, 0-0) found themselves behind by just six at 51-45 midway through the second half but the Wildcats took advantage of VMI turnovers and finished with 30 points off those mistakes to put the Keydets away. Davidson also proved clutch from the charity stripe by making 17 of 21 free throw attempts and finished with 15 second-chance points to VMI's six.
Both teams struggled to convert baskets in the opening half as the Keydets finished at 36 percent on 11-for-30 shooting while the Wildcats went 40 percent on 11-for-27 shooting from the field. The core difference in the game came at the free-throw line where Davidson was allowed 21 attempts and converted 17 while the Keydets were limited to eight free throws, converting six. The Wildcats ended the game with nine three-pointers on the night while VMI totaled seven treys.
Austin Vereen led the Keydets with 12 points going 4-for-9 from the field while Garrett Gilkeson and Bubba Parham were close behind with 10 apiece. Freshman Sarju Patel also contributed with seven points coming off the bench.
Jon Axel Gudmundsson paced the Wildcats with 22 points on 5-of-10 shooting and 10-for-12 from the stripe while Peyton Aldridge finished with 20 points converting seven buckeets and two treys.
The Keydets return to action Saturday with a Big South matchup at home against Longwood. Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m. at Cameron Hall.