Game 17 W&L (10-6, 5-5 ODAC) vs. Guilford (14-3, 8-3 ODAC)
Lexington, Va. • January 31, 2007 7:00 pm
Game 18 W&L (10-6, 5-5 ODAC) vs. Randolph-Macon (10-8, 5-6 ODAC)
Lexington, Va. • February 3, 2007 2:00 pm
Game 19 W&L (10-6, 5-5 ODAC) vs. Va. Wesleyan (16-3, 11-1 ODAC)
Lexington, Va. • February 4, 2007 2:00 pm
LAST TIME OUT:
Josh LaPorte tallied 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead Roanoke to a 70-64 victory over W&L on Saturday evening. The game was tight throughout with neither team leading by more than eight points. The Maroons held a slim 34-33 lead at halftime, but stretched out to a 59-51 lead with 7:20 remaining in the game. W&L fought back to slice it to a 65-64 game with 1:01 remaining, but the Maroons used nearly the entire shot clock on the next possession before hitting a layup with 31 seconds remaining for a 67-64 lead in posting the six-point win. Washington and Lee was led by sophomore forward Kirk Jones, who scored 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting from three-point range. McHugh and sophomore guard Isaiah Goodman chipped in 11 points each, while junior forward Femi Kusimo added nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
THE HEAD GENERAL:
Adam Hutchinson (Amherst '93) is in his fourth season as the head coach at Washington and Lee. Prior to W&L, Hutchinson coached for two seasons at Case Western Reserve University and two seasons at Stevens Tech. In his eight seasons as a head coach, Hutchinson claims a 56-133 (.296) overall record. Hutchinson is assisted by Sean Grant (NYU '02) and Stuart Pradia (Brandeis '05).
W&L and Guilford are meeting for the 36th time, with the Quakers holding a 21-14 lead in the all-time series. The two teams split their season series last season as each team won at home. The Generals claimed a 98-92 victory in the Warner Center, while Guilford took the season finale, 75-74, in Greensboro, N.C. W&L and Randolph-Macon will be meeting for the 69th time, with the Yellow Jackets claiming a 56-12 series advantage. R-MC has won each of the last 42 meetings dating back to Feb. 9, 1977 when the Generals defeated the Yellow Jackets, 75-73, at the Warner Center. W&L and Virginia Wesleyan will be meeting for the 40th time, with the Marlins holding a 29-10 advantage in the all-time series. VWC has won 10-straight in the series dating back to the 2001-02 season.
LAST MEETING WITH GUILFORD:
Jordan Snipes went 1-of-2 from the free throw line with five seconds left to lift Guilford to a 75-74 win over Washington and Lee in Greensboro, N.C on Feb. 14. The Generals trailed 74-67 with 2:22 remaining, but went on a 7-0 run to tie the game at 74-74 with 15 seconds left on a layup by forward Femi Kusimo, setting up Snipes game-winning free throw. The Quakers led 37-29 at halftime and pushed their lead to nine points (40-31) with 18:53 remaining in the game, but W&L went on a 10-0 spurt to take a 41-40 advantage at the 13:18 mark. Guilford re-took the lead at 48-46 with 10:16 left and held the lead until Kusimo’s game-tying layup. The Generals were led by guard Isaiah Goodman, who scored a career-high 17 points, grabbed six rebounds and collected four steals. Forward John Mumper tallied 16 points, five boards and three assists, while Kusimo finished with 14 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Snipes paced Guilford with a game-high 21 points, while Ben Strong notched 11 points and nine rebounds.
Guilford, ranked 25th in last week's Division III poll, is 14-3 overall and 8-3 in the ODAC following a 72-69 loss to fourth-ranked Virginia Wesleyan on Sunday afternoon. The Marlins opened up a 10-point second-half advantage only to see the Quakers cut their lead to as few as one point on several occasions down the stretch. However, Guilford could not pull ahead and VWC held on for the win. Guilford was paced by junior center Ben Strong, who tallied 30 points and 14 rebounds. Freshman guard Justin Strickland recorded 10 points, while senior guard Jordan Snipes added eight points and six rebounds. Strong has been leading the Quakers all season and is averaging 24.2 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game. He shoots 56.2 percent from the floor and 78.0 percent from the foul line. Snipes averages 17.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game, while junior forward Eric Belkowski averages 7.1 points per game. As a team, Guilford shoots 48.1 percent from the floor and holds a +9.4 rebounding advantage over its opponents.
LAST MEETING WITH RANDOLPH-MACON:
Randolph-Macon shot 57.1 percent (24-42) from the floor in posting a 63-58 victory over Washington and Lee in Ashland, Va. The Yellow Jackets led 32-26 at the half, but W&L climbed back to within two points (41-39) with 13:16 left to play. R-MC then went on a 12-0 run over the next 4:53 to assume a 53-39 lead with 8:23 remaining. However, the Generals again clawed their way back into the game with a 17-6 run over the next 5:21 to pull within three points (59-56) with 3:02 left to play, but could get no closer. The Generals shot just 35.8 percent (24-67) from the floor, but forced 22 turnovers to stay within reach. Junior forward Greg Bienemann led W&L with 22 points and six rebounds. Junior forward Femi Kusimo totaled 17 points and six boards in just 22 minutes, while senior guard Chris Halkitis added 10 points and six boards as well. Randolph-Macon was led by David Carlson’s 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor. Justin Short chipped in 10 points.
The Yellow Jackets are 10-8 overall and 5-6 in the ODAC following a 106-102 win over Emory & Henry on Sunday. Macon hosts Lynchburg on Wednesday before traveling to Lexington on Saturday. In the win over E&H, the Yellow Jackets were led by sophomore guard David Carlson's 30 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Justin Short tallied 20 points, while junior forward Jeremy Dixon posted 14 points and 10 rebounds. For the year, Carlson is averaging 16.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Short averages 10.4 points, 4.0 assists and 2.6 rebounds per contest, while senior forward Phil Hawley posts 10.0 points and 4.1 rebounds per outing.
LAST MEETING WITH VIRGINIA WESLEYAN:
Virginia Wesleyan shot 52.8 percent from the floor and out-rebounded W&L, 43-17, en route to a 74-50 win in Norfolk, Va. Despite owning a seven-point lead, 22-15, with 9:13 to play in the first half, the Generals only scored one field goal in that remaining time and trailed the Marlins 35-24 at the break. W&L cut the lead to as little as nine, 35-26, on its first possession of the second half, but couldn’t get any closer down the stretch as VWC pulled away for the victory. The Generals were led by junior forward Greg Bienemann, who tallied a team-high 19 points and four rebounds. Virginia Wesleyan was paced by Rodney Young, who shot 7-of-9 from the floor, scoring 19 points and also grabbing six rebounds. All-American Brandon Adair shot 7-of-8 from the field, chipping in 15 points and a game-high seven rebounds..
SCOUTING VIRGINIA WESLEYAN:
The Marlins are 16-3 overall and 11-1 in the ODAC following the 72-69 win over Guilford on Sunday. The Marlins host Bridgewater on Wednesday, then travel to Roanoke on Saturday before playing W&L on Sunday. In the win over Guilford, senior guard Ton Ton Belenga led the way with 25 points. Senior forward and 2006 Division III Player of the Year Brandon Adair totaled 13 points and nine rebounds, while sophomore forward Norman Hassell tallied 12 points. For the season, the Marlins are led by Adair's 16.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. Belenga averages 16.3 points and 4.6 boards per outing, while junior forward Tyler Fantin contributes 9.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per contest. As a team, the Marlins shoot 48.5 percent from the floor and average 78.8 points per game.
STRONG START = STRONG FINISH:
Washington and Lee is 9-0 this season when it builds a halftime lead. Success in maintaining leads is nothing new as W&L has compiled a 43-23 (.652) record over the past nine years when it leads at the break. W&L has won a total of 58 games during that stretch, meaning that the Generals have led at halftime in nearly 75 percent of their wins in the last nine years.
There are a number of reasons for W&L's 10-6 record to date, but one that is hard to overlook is experience. Of the players averaging 12.0 minutes or more per game, there are two seniors (Halkitis, White), two juniors (Bienemann, Kusimo) and three sophomores (Goodman, Jones, McHugh). The big difference is among the five freshmen, which W&L has had to rely on for just 217 of 3200 total minutes this year (6.8%). To put this into perspective, consider that W&L's seven freshmen last season played 1819 of 4675 minutes (39%) and the seven freshman in 2004-05 played 2579 of 5000 minutes (52%).
FOR THE RECORD:
W&L's 10-6 record is its best mark through 16 games since going 11-5 in its first 16 games during the 1989-90 season. Incidently, that season was also the last in which the Generals finished with a winning record (15-12, 8-8 ODAC).
TEN REASONS WHY W&L HAS POSTED DOUBLE-DIGIT WINS:
W&L's 10 wins this season mark the first year that the Generals have reached double-digits in the win column since the 1997-98 season. Below are just 10 of the many reasons for the turnaround in the program this season, in no particular order.
• EXPERIENCE - As noted above, the Generals have some experience this season. In addition to not having to play freshman, W&L boasts three seniors, its most since having three for the 1999-2000 season. That year, W&L won nine games and made it to the semifinals of the ODAC Tournament.
• LEADERSHIP - Seniors Chris Halkitis, Alex White and Chris Davis have the most experience on the team and they have have provided excellent leadership for the rest of the team. Both Halkitis and White are two-year captains and are at the forefront of the program's turnaround.
• DEPTH - The Generals currently have 16 healthy players on the roster and 11 of them have seen action in 10 games or more.
• BALL-HANDLING - W&L ranks fourth in the ODAC in turnover margin and very nearly has a 1-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio this season (235 asst., 261 to). Last season, W&L had 284 assists and 450 turnovers for the year. Currently, three starters (Chris Halkitis, Chris McHugh, Kirk Jones) have a positive assist-to-turnover ratio and a fourth player, Alex White, brings a positive ratio off the bench.
• SHOOTING - W&L is currently shooting 49.2 percent from the floor and has shot better than 56 percent from the field in four of the last six games. The Generals have not shot better than 49 percent from the floor for an entire season since the 1984 season (51.5 %).
• SCORING - Over the past 10 seasons, W&L has consistently ranked among the worst scoring teams in the ODAC. W&L's 71.8 points per game this season still ranks next to last in the conference, but it is 5.7 points per game better than last year.
• DEFENSE - W&L ranks third in the ODAC in scoring defense, allowing just 68.4 points per game. This total is 7.2 points per game less than the team allowed last season.
• REBOUNDING - W&L holds a +2.5 rebounding margin this season, its best rebounding margin for a season since the 1990-91 season (+3.6). The Generals are 8-1 this season when out-rebounding an opponent.
• ROAD WINS - W&L is 4-4 on the road this season after posting a 0-21 mark on the road over the previous two seasons. The Generals have not won five road games in a season since the 1997-98 season.
• CHEMISTRY - While chemistry is not a tangible item, all of the above numbers can be used to support the fact that the Generals have become a team.
-- GENERALS --