Okoye, Burks lead VMI over Gardner-Webb 76-72

LEXINGTON, Va. (AP) Stan Okoye scored 25 points and Ron Burks had 19, including two key 3-pointers, as Virginia Military Institute defeated Gardner-Webb 76-72 in a Big South Conference game Monday night.

The Keydets (7-7, 2-2) led by as many as 11 points in the first half, but the Runnin' Bulldogs (7-9, 2-2) closed it to 39-36 at halftime and built a 60-55 lead with 10:52 remaining.

A pair of 3s by Burks brought VMI back within a point, 60-59, and the Keydets tied it, 64-64, on Okoye's three-point play. A 3-pointer by Keith Gabriel and Michael Sparks' layup capped a 16-5 run that made it 71-65 VMI with 4:28 to play.

VMI led 75-72 after Burks' layup with 43 seconds left, and after Tashan Newsome missed a 3-pointer for Gardner-Webb, Okoye hit a free throw for the final margin.

Stefon Johnson scored 16 points, making 7 of 8 shots, to lead Gardner-Webb.