The Samford men’s basketball made a little program history on Saturday. More importantly, at least for right now, is the Bulldogs stayed on pace to become the first team at Samford to claim a SoCon title in men’s basketball.
Samford coach Bucky McMillan rested a couple of banged up starters, but his team didn’t miss a beat in a 96-61 SoCon road victory at VMI.
With the win, Samford improves to 20-9 overall and reaches 20 wins in back-to-back seasons for just the second time in program history. The first time that happened came in 1998-1999 and 1999-2000 under Jimmy Tillette. Both of those teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament, representing the Trans America Athletic Conference. This is the first time that Samford has done it as a member of the Southern Conference.
Samford, which is 14-2 in conference, also remains in sole possession of first place in the SoCon with two games to play.
The Bulldogs played most of the game without Logan Dye and the entire way without Ques Glover. The Bulldogs responded with a balanced effort. McMillan played 13 players on Saturday with 12 of them scoring. Bubba Parham and Jaron Rillie each stepped up in a big way.
Parham, who began his college career at VMI, scored 19 points on 7 of 8 shooting overall and 5 of 6 on 3-pointers. He added four rebounds and two assists. Rillie, who was back in the starting lineup with Glover out, had 17 points, five 3-pointers, eight assists and two steals.
Samford shot 57.4% from the field overall and hit 67.6% in the second half. The Bulldogs hit 21 of 35 3-pointers, including 15 of 21 in the second half. Samford had 25 assist, outscored the Keydets in bench points, 32-6, and had nine players hit a 3-pointer.
VMI fell to 6-23 overall and 1-15 in SoCon play.
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