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Samford beats VMI 80-69

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LEXINGTON, Va. (AP) Christen Cunningham scored a career-high-matching 22 points Saturday and Samford beat VMI 80-69, earning a berth in the 8/9 game in the Southern Conference tournament beginning Friday in Asheville, N.C.

Tyler Hood added 21 points, including five 3-pointers, and the Bulldogs (13-18, 6-12) snapped a four-game skid in their season finale.

VMI led midway through the first half 19-17 after Phillip Anglade made two free throws, then Samford drained back-to-back 3-pointers amid a 13-1 run and led 38-26 at halftime.

VMI rallied to tie it at 52 on a jumper by Trey Chapman, but Samford replied with a game-breaking 12-5 run in which Hood hit consecutive 3s and led 65-57 with 4:35 left. Hood hit another 3 and a layup for a 74-60 Samford lead and the Bulldogs cruised.

Julian Eleby and Brian Brown scored 17 apiece for VMI (11-18, 7-11) and Anglade had 11.