Shenandoah (7-7, 2-3 ODAC) led 44-41 at the half, but the Marlins (10-4, 4-1) scored 53 points in the second half to earn the six-point victory.
VWU is now 21-0 in the all-time series with the Hornets.
Shenandoah led for the majority of the contest, 20:08, but it was the Marlins that held the advantage over the final 11:30 thanks to a 19-9 run in the middle of the second half.
The game was tied on six occasions with the two teams trading the lead seven times – the last tie game thanks to an Aaron Patterson layup with 11:54 to play.
VWU answered with nine of the game's next 11 points and held the lead the rest of the way.
Patterson, who had a co-game-high 20 points, brought the Hornets to within one, 81-80, following a 3-pointer at 2:49.
The Marlins answered with a 3-ball of their own and followed with a pair of free throws to extend the lead back to six. In the final minute, VWU was 4-of-7 from the free throw line and grabbed the only two rebounds of the waning moments to help close out SU.
Lamont Steward had 20 points for the hosts.
The two teams split 74 rebounds.