Roanoke started off the season with a 88-63 victory over Warren Wilson in the Dick Leftwitch V-Foundation Classic Saturday afternoon at the Bast Center. The Maroons improved to 1-0 while the Owls dropped to 3-4 on the young season.
Senior captain Melvin Felix started his final campaign in impressive fashion, scoring a career-best 33 points, including 23 in the first half. He also posted career-highs in field goals made (13), three-pointers (5), rebounds (5) and steals (4).
Roanoke, now 29-4 in the season-opening tournament, defeated the Owls in their first-ever meeting. The win gave the Maroons a 20-2 record under Page Moir in season-openers, claiming the last 18 in a row. It is the programs’ largest margin of victory since Jan. 2, 2009 (106-55 vs. PSU-Abington).
In the Maroons first win since Jan. 16, 2010, the 97-year storied program won its 299th game in the Bast Center. The facility was opened in 1982 and own a .765 winning percentage at home.
Roanoke won the rebounding battle, 50-44, the most rebounds for the Maroons since Feb. 14, 2009 against Eastern Mennonite. They outscored the Owls, 35-11 in points off turnovers, 32-18 in the paint and 35-21 off the bench. The defense forced 27 turnovers on the afternoon.
Warren Wilson jumped out to an early 18-7 lead as Moir called timeout with 12:13 remaining in the first half.
That’s when Felix started to feel it, hitting three-consecutive three-pointers to spark an 11-0 run over the next two minutes of action as the Owls called timeout.
Another three-pointer by Felix gave the Maroons the lead for good, 23-22 with 7:08 remaining before the break. Raysean Love’s layup cut the Maroons lead to, 29-27 with 4:58 remaining, but Roanoke closed the half with a 15-3 run to give them a 44-30 halftime advantage and never looked back.
Jack Hamilton finished with 10 points and seven boards in his first collegiate game. Matt Crizer added seven points and a team-best five assists.
Dan Jackson led Warren Wilson with 12 points and five rebounds while teammate Raysean Love chipped in 10. Ali Rasheed had seven points, three steals and pulled down a game-best 13 caroms.
The Maroons will face in-state foe, Ferrum in the championship game of the Dick Leftwitch V-Foundation Classic. Roanoke is 14-3 against the Panthers, but will look to avenge last season’s 78-70 loss in the Morris Cregger New Year’s Classic last winter. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.