LEXINGTON, Va. - A 24-7 run broke open the game early and sent the VMI Keydets past the Southern Wesleyan Warriors, 90-52, in NCAA basketball action Thursday evening in Lexington, Va.
The visitors stayed close for the first eight-plus minutes of the game, but after a basket by DJ Dobson at the 11:39 mark made it 18-10, they went nearly 10 minutes without a field goal. When the dust settled, VMI had a 46-21 lead and Southern Wesleyan got no closer than 24 the rest of the way.
Every player on VMI's roster scored, including true freshman Tragen Fahl and Ta'Vonne Bond, who had not scored thus far in 2017-18. Jordan Ratliffe led VMI with 13 points as the Keydet bench scored 51 of VMI's 90 markers, and outscored SWU 51-14 in terms of bench scoring. The Keydets also had a 24-6 edge in points off turnovers.
Southern Wesleyan was led by Dobson's 14 points.
VMI moved to 5-5 with the win, while the game was listed as an exhibition on Southern Wesleyan's schedule, allowing the Warriors to remain at 1-11 on the year.
The Keydets finished with 21 assists on 34 made baskets, led by Keith Smith's seven helpers in just 20 minutes of playing time. The assist total was a season-high, and VMI also had 10 steals, tying the squad's second-most so far this year.
In addition to Ratliffe, Sarju Patel had a career-high 12 points and Tyler Creammer chipped in 11 points and seven boards in just 16 minutes.
For the game, VMI shot 34 of 63 (54.0%) and 9 of 24 from three-point range (37.5%), as well as 13 of 19 (68.4%) from the free throw line. Southern Wesleyan was 15 of 51 (29.4%) overall and 21 of 28 (75%) from the line, but managed only a dismal 1 of 15 (6.7%) from beyond the arc.
VMI basketball will now break for exams and return to action December 22 against VCU in Richmond. Tip time is set for 7 p.m.