JONESBORO, Ark. - Senior guard Garrett Gilkeson scored 18 points and senior center Tyler Creammer added 12 points and a career-high 17 rebounds to help VMI top UC Davis, 89-84, in double overtime Sunday afternoon in the Red Wolves Classic at First National Bank Arena.
The win was the first for the Keydets this season after suffering three previous losses on the young campaign by a combined six points.
In what could be only described as a total team effort, the Keydets placed five in double-figures scoring for the victory. Joining Gilkeson and Creammer in double figures scoring were junior guard Myles Lewis (17), freshman guard Travis Evee (14), and freshman guard Kamdyn Curfman (15) who knocked in five shots from beyond the three-point arc.
Trailing 79-76 with three minutes remaining in double overtime, Curfman drilled a 3-pointer to tie the game at the 2:51 mark and Evee followed with a basket at 2:01 to put VMI up for good. UC Davis guard Ezra Manjohn converted a layup to pull the Aggies withing 85-84 with :17 left, but Gilkeson and Lewis each sank two free throws over the final :13 of the contest to seal the Keydet victory.
VMI moved to 1-5 while UC Davis fell to 2-3.
The Keydets shot just 37% from the floor, but converted 24-of-27 free throws for the game including 11 of 12 in the overtime sessions. Gilkeson was 10-of-12 from the stripe while Creammer, who now has five career double-doubles, knocked in all six attempts in charity tosses.
UC Davis placed four in double figures and was led by senior guard Joe Mooney with 25 points including four 3-pointers.
The Keydets trailed by as many as eight points (19-11) midway in the first half following UC Davis guard Caleb Fuller’s basket to give the Aggies a 19-11 lead. The Keydets, behind 10 first half points from Lewis, pulled withing 38-34 at halftime. The Keydets started briskly in the opening minutes of the second half with an 8-2 spurt and assumed a 45-42 lead after a Gilkeson trey at the 16:24 mark.
Neither team held more than a five-point margin for the remainder of the game and both squads missed opportunities to end the game in regulation. UC Davis did not post a field goal over last 6:20 of regulation and missed a chance to break a 66-66 tie when Manjon missed the second of two free throws at the :09 mark and VMI’s Evee misfired from 3-point range at the buzzer.
The game was sent to a second overtime session when Mooney missed a three-pointer with :01 left, sending the teams to double overtime tied 74-74.
VMI posted 24 assists for the game and was led by Gilkeson with seven dishes. The Keydets also held the upper hand in bench scoring, 34-8.
The Keydets return home to complete the Red Wolves Classic Wednesday in Lexington and will face Christendom College at 7 pm at Cameron Hall.
VMI Head Coach Dan Earl -
"I am super proud of our group for continuing to battle and finally get one. We have had some tough games where, in three of those games, it has literally come down to the last possession. The guys are continuing to play hard and believe, and we were able to pull one out, in a true team effort. Tyler Creammer gave us a huge lift with 12 points and 17 rebounds (9 offensive). Garrett Gilkeson had a great all around game. And Myles Lewis had his best outing of the season."
"I am also really proud of our freshman. Kamdyn (Curfman) and Travis (Evee) had very good games. Louis Tang impacted the game positively. And Sean Conway was outstanding in some crucial minutes at the end of the game and overtime. Again, just an all around team effort."