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Game 8 • W&L (2-5) vs. No. 17 Trinity College (7-0) • December 30, 2003 • 7:00 pm

W&L and Trinity will be meeting for the first-time ever on the hardwood. Located in Hartford, Conn., Trinity is a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). Trinity's mascot is the Bantam which is descibed as a small domestic foul that is a miniature of a standard breed. In other words, it is a small chicken.

Bridgewater used a 22-6 run in the second half for a 66-51 win over Washington and Lee in ODAC men's basketball action on Dec. 10. The Eagles led 37-34 lead with 14:00 remaining in the game and extended to a 59-40 lead with 5:57 left in the game. From there, Bridgewater cruised to the 15-point win. W&L, which shot just 39.2 percent for the game, was led by junior guard Mike Stuart, who totaled 13 points. Sophomore forward David Will added 10 points and five rebounds. Bridgewater was paced by junior guard Ricky Easterling, who tallied 19 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Trinity is 7-0 on the season and ranked 17th in the latest poll. The Bantams are averaging 86.4 points per game and are winning by an average of 20.5 points. In its last outing on Dec. 8, Trinity defeated the Coast Guard Academy by a 91-54 count. Sophomore forward Tyler Rhoten paced the Bantams with 26 points on 11-of-12 shooting from the floor. Senior guard Shaun Smyth tallied 18 points on 8-of-8 shooting, while junior guard John Halas contributed 13 points, seven rebounds and four steals. On the season, Rhoten leads the team in scoring, averaging 23.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per contest. Halas gives Trinity 16.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, while Smyth averages 11.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. Junior center Craig Coupe has been averaging 9.6 rebounds per game and junior point guard Jesse Farrell has 53 assists and just five turnovers thus far. As a team, Trinity shoots 50.9 percent from the floor, 41.2 percent from three-point range and 72.6 percent from the foul line.

The Generals travel to eighth-ranked Randolph-Macon on Saturday for a 2:00 pm contest. Following the game, W&L will head to Norfolk, Va., where it will take on Virginia Wesleyan on Sunday at 2:00 pm.

Adam Hutchinson (Amherst '93) is in his first season as the head coach at Washington and Lee. Hutchinson came to W&L from Case Western Reserve University, where he posted a 14-36 record in two seasons. Hutchinson was in the process of turning around the program after two solid recruiting classes. Hutchinson also served as the head coach at Steven's Tech for two seasons and claims a 34-72 (.321) overall record in five seasons as a head coach. Hutchinson is assisted by Ryan Kadlubowski (Rochester '03) and Curtis Buxton. Trinity is led by Head Coach Stan Ogrodnik (Providence '63), who is in his 23rd season with the Bantams. Ogrodnik claims a 374-156 (.706) career record and has led Trinity to the NCAA Division III Elite Eight in 1998-99 and to the NCAA Division III Final Four in 1994-95. He was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame this fall.

Defense does win games as evidenced by W&L's record in low-scoring games. During the last seven seasons, W&L is 30-11 (.732) when allowing its opponent 59 points or less, 2-0 this season. The Generals have not lost when allowing 59 points or less since a 57-48 setback against Roanoke on Jan. 6, 2001.

A quick start has been imperative to the Generals winning games. Over the past six years, W&L is 26-12 (.684) when leading at the half. During that same stretch, W&L has won a total of 37 games, meaning that W&L has led at the break in just over 70 percent of its wins during the last six years. However, W&L's two wins this season both came when trailing at the half.

Junior guard Mike Stuart has proven to be a threat from beyond the arc, hitting 34-of-96 attempts (.354) last season. Stuart ranks 11th on the career three-pointer makes list (76) and on the career attempts list (227). Stuart has struggled from behind the arc in the early going in 2003-04, hitting just 8-for-29 (.276) from three this season.

Senior point guard Michael Denbow has been known for dropping dimes during his career, totaling 222 assists in 79 career games, an average of 2.8 assists per game. He can climb into the Top 5 in W&L history in career assists with 26 more dimes. Denbow is averaging 3.6 assists per game this season and claims 14 assists and just two turnovers in his last three contests. For the season, he claims a 2.5-1 assist-turnover ratio, the best of hhis career. W&L is 8-8 (.500) all-time when Denbow records five or more assists in a game.

Sophomore forward David Will was the Generals' top scoring freshman last season, averaging 7.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per contest. Through seven games this season, Will is second on the team in scoring with 9.6 points per game. He is shooting 47.0 percent (31-66) from the floor and has grabbed an average of 4.0 rebounds per contest.

At 5-10, 160 pounds, freshman guard Chris Halkitis is almost always the smallest player on the court. However, Halkitis tends to play larger than his stature. Halkitis led the Generals on the boards against Drew, grabbing a game- and career-high nine rebounds in just 18 minutes of action. According to school records, his nine rebounds were the most by a W&L player under 6-foot tall since at least 1990. He is currently third on the team in rebounding with an average of 3.7 boards per game. Halkitis is also a "dead-eye" shooter, having hit 12-of-26 (.462) three-point attempts for the season.

There's nothing flashy about Hamill Jones' name nor his game. However, keeping things simple have led Jones to a team-best .654 shooting percentage (17-26). Jones also holds the school's top single-game shooting performance, a 15-of-16 night against Emory & Henry on Jan. 23, 2002. Jones tallied a career-high 32 points that evening. Jones is currently averaging 5.9 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.

W&L is shooting 73.3 percent from the foul line this season, but has gone to the line just 86 times in seven games. On the flip side, W&L's opponents have hit just 64.1 percent of their charity tosses, but have shot 131 free throws. All told, the Generals' opponents have hit nearly as many free throws (84) as W&L has attempted (86) this season.

Tis the season for giving and lest we forget the motto "better to give than receive". Words to live by, except when on the basketball court. The Generals must keep this in mind when they take to the hardwood. Through seven games, W&L is averaging 18.3 turnovers per game. On the flip side, the Generals are only receiving 13.4 "gifts" per game from their opponents. W&L has a season-low 12 turnovers in its loss at Bridgewater.

W&L claims just one player averaging double-digits, but it can claim six players averaging 4.7 points or better. Of the Generals' top six scorers, there is but one senior (Hamill Jones), one junior (Mike Stuart), two sophomores (David Will, Phil Landes) and two freshmen (Chris Halkitis, Coleman Lyons).

Freshman guard Coleman Lyons awoke two games ago against Chowan, scoring a career-high 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-6 shooting from beyond the three-point arc. Prior to that game, Lyons had scored a total of 15 points in the Generals first five games, an average of just 3.0 points per contest. Lyons earned all-county honors at the Marist School in Atlanta before taking a post-graduate year at Phillips Academy in Massachusetts last season.

W&L has gone through a brutal stretch of games already and will continue to do so through next week. The Generals have played two teams ranked in the Top 20 in Franklin & Marshall (19th) and Catholic (14th) and will now play a Trinity team ranked 17th in the latest poll. In addition, W&L played Division I Citadel and will continue the schedule this week against eighth-ranked Randolph-Macon and 26th-ranked Virginia Wesleyan. In addition, as of a Jan. 10 game against Roanoke, W&L will have played eight of its first 11 games on the road. To date, W&L's six Division III opponents have a 25-19 overall record.

W&L's rough early start will help as the year progresses, however. Playing tough early season opponents can only strenthen the Generals for a the conference stretch run which includes 10 of the final 14 games at home, including five-straight home games from Jan. 24 until Feb. 4.


Contact: Brian Laubscher
Sports Information Director
PO Drawer 928
Lexington, VA 24450
Phone: 540-463-8670