HOMEWOOD – Samford didn’t have much success stopping the top 3-point shooting team in the Southern Conference. Instead, the Bulldogs simply outshot them.
Samford hit a season-high 14 3-pointers on 30 attempts, a 47 percent success rate, during the 87-78 Southern Conference victory over VMI on Wednesday at the Pete Hanna Center.
VMI (5-11 overall, 0-3 SoCon) also had a solid night from outside the 3-point stripe, making 12 of 29, but the Bulldogs were better. The Bulldogs spread out the production. Logan Dye and Quinn Richey each hit three, Jaden Campbell, Nate Johnson and Bubba Parham connected on two apiece, and Jermaine Marshall and Achor both hit one. For Achor, it was just his second 3-pointer on three attempts this season.
“I was glad we got a win,” said Samford head coach Bucky McMillan. “This time of year, it doesn’t matter how you get it, just get a win. Tonight, it was just about outscoring them. We couldn’t stop them. They were really a tough matchup. They could space out. They could really shoot it. When you put five guys out on the floor that can really shoot it like that, it’s a problem.”
With the win, Samford improves to 9-7 overall and 3-0 in SoCon play. UNC Greensboro, which beat Chattanooga on Wednesday night, is the only other team still unbeaten in the SoCon. Samford travels to Greensboro for a first-place showdown on Saturday.
The Bulldogs move on after taking one more step toward becoming a healthy basketball team. Campbell, who has been out for a few games with a bad back, returned to the lineup on Wednesday and contributed six points and a rebound in 10 minutes. AJ Staton-McCray, who has been slowed with a knee issue, also made a solid contribution with seven points, three rebounds, two steals and an assist in 19 minutes.
Samford needed all the contributions on a night when VMI started hot and refused to quit fighting. The Bulldogs led nearly 31 minutes, and the biggest lead stretched to 13 points in the second half. Samford had too much offensive balance. The Bulldogs had 20 assists on 34 made baskets, with Marshall credited with six assists and Johnson adding five assists.
“I felt like we passed really well the last three games,” McMillan said. “Everybody in this league passes really well. Everybody can move the basketball. If you’re not locking in on every possession you have the ball, it’s almost impossible to win the league. Every team in this league is so disciplined. They’re well coached with smart players.”
Dye had a team-high 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds, but he also committed five turnovers and fouled out. Marshall had 16 points and nine rebounds to go with his six assists. Johnson had 13 points, and Parham added 10 points.
Samford’s rebounding was also a strength. The Bulldogs outrebounded the Keydets, 34-25 overall and 12-9 on the offensive end. Samford had 15 second chance points, while VMI had 9.
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