TonTon Balenga's 3-pointer with two seconds left lifted Virginia Wesleyan to the NCAA Division 3 men's national championship yesterday and its 28th consecutive victory, 59-56, over Wittenberg in Salem, Va.
Balenga led the Marlins (30-3) with 22 points, including a steal and a layup with 1:57 left that enabled Virginia Wesleyan to tie the score for the first time at 52. Brandon Adair added 21 points, including two foul shots that tied the game at 56 with 49 seconds left.
The Tigers (30-4) were led by Dane Borchers with 15 points, Daniel Russ with 14, and Kenny Brady with 13.
Amherst fell to Illinois Wesleyan, 71-68, in the third-place game in Salem.
The Titans (25-7) scored the game's first 10 points and twice built their lead to 16 before the Lord Jeffs (28-4) used a 15-3 burst to pull within 61-58 with 9:18 left.
Amherst got as close as 69-68 on Andrew Olson's jumper with 51 seconds left, but Dan Wheeler (20 points) and Olson missed 3-pointers and Jason Fisher hit two foul shots at the other end to preserve the Titans' victory.