Game 20 W&L (10-9, 5-8 ODAC) at Emory & Henry (12-8, 8-6 ODAC)
Emory, Va. • February 7, 2007 7:00 pm
Game 21 W&L (10-9, 5-8 ODAC) vs. Hampden-Sydney (12-8, 7-6 ODAC)
Lexington, Va. • February 10, 2007 2:00 pm
Game 22 W&L (10-9, 5-8 ODAC) vs. Lynchburg (6-15, 3-11 ODAC)
Lexington, Va. • February 11, 2007 4:30 pm
LAST TIME OUT:
Senior forward Brandon Adair totaled 29 points on 13-of-17 shooting from the field to lead eighth-ranked Virginia Wesleyan to a 61-49 victory over Washington and Lee at the Warner Center on Sunday. Virginia Wesleyan led just 15-14 with 9:50 left in the first half, but used an 11-1 run over the next 3:30 to take a 26-15 lead with 6:20 remaining before the break. The Generals cut it back to five points (28-23) at the 3:13 mark, but the Marlins again stretched their lead to 10 points (34-24) at the intermission. The Generals (10-9, 5-8) remained within striking distance for much of the second half, but could get no closer down the stretch than nine points (58-49) with 2:46 left in the game. Freshman forward Zac White led the Generals with a career-high 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor. Junior forward Greg Bienemann added 14 points and nine rebounds. Adair was joined in double figures for VWC by junior forward Tyler Fantin and junior guard Ton Ton Belenga, who posted 10 points each.
W&L and Emory & Henry are meeting for the 88th time, with the Generals holding a 52-36 advantage in the all-time series. W&L snapped a string of eight-straight losses to the Wasps with a 98-96 win earlier this season in Lexington, Va. However, the Generals have not won at the King Center since a 65-62 victory during the 1997-98 season (Eight games). W&L and Hampden-Sydney will be meeting for the 108th time and the Tigers claim a 67-40 series edge. H-SC has won 19-straight in the series, a stretch that dates back to a 44-40 W&L win at Hampden-Sydney during the 1997-98 season. W&L and Lynchburg will be meeting for the 101st time, with the Generals leading the all-time series 69-31. W&L's 69 wins over Lynchburg are tied for the most against any opponent (Bridgewater - 69).
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 56-136 (.292) overall record. Hutchinson is assisted by Sean Grant (NYU '02) and Stuart Pradia (Brandeis '05).
LAST MEETING WITH EMORY & HENRY:
Sophomore forward Kirk Jones rebounded a miss and hit a layup with 2.2 seconds remaining to lift W&L to a 98-96 victory over Emory & Henry at the Warner Center. The Generals held a 15-point lead at 74-59 with 12:03 left in the game, but the Wasps immediately surged on a 19-4 run to tie the game at 78-78 with 7:47 left. E&H assumed its first lead of the second half at 91-90 with 2:02 left, but the Generals regained the lead on a layup by junior forward Femi Kusimo just 20 seconds later and held the lead until Wasps’ junior guard Shavar Bland tied the game at 96-96 on a three-pointer with 41 seconds remaining. W&L senior guard Chris Halkitis missed a three-pointer with 11 seconds remaining, but junior forward Greg Bienemann was there for the offensive rebound. Bienemann missed a layup with five seconds remaining and Kusimo missed a tip with three seconds left. However, Jones made good on the Generals’ fourth scoring opportunity for the 98-96 victory. The Generals shot a season-best 67.7 percent (42-62) from the floor led by Bienemann, who tallied 30 points on 15-of-22 shooting from the floor and grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds. Kusimo notched 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field and grabbed nine boards, while Jones posted a season-best 14 points, six rebounds and six assists. Emory & Henry was paced by sophomore guard Camillo Weinz, who recorded 16 points on 4-of-8 shooting from three-point range. Sophomore guard Andrew Hart registered 12 points, sophomore guard Cain Landreth notched 11 points and senior guard Lance Reasbeck added 10 points for the Wasps.
SCOUTING EMORY & HENRY:
Emory & Henry is 12-8 overall and 8-6 in the ODAC following a 108-100 victory over Hampden-Sydney on Saturday. The Wasps recovered from a 51-44 deficit at the half by hitting 12-of-35 three-point attempts in the second stanza. E&H made 19 total three's for the game, led by sophomore guard Robert Hudson, who canned a team-best six three-pointers (18 att.) for a game-high 22 points. Sophomore guard Camillo Weinz posted 20 points on 5-of-15 shooting from beyond the arc, while senior guard Lance Reasbeck totaled 17 points. Sophomore guard Cain Landreth added 13 points. For the season, Emory & Henry is averaging 111.2 points per game, which ranks third in Division III, led by Reasbeck's 14.8 points per game. Weinz averages 12.5 points and has a team-high 58 three-pointers, while sophomore guard Andrew Hart and senior guard Korey Townsend average 10.4 and 10.2 points per game, respectively.
LAST MEETING WITH HAMPDEN-SYDNEY:
Hampden-Sydney used a hot-shooting first half to hold off the Washington and Lee men’s basketball team and emerge with a 66-58 victory over the Generals at Fleet Gymnasium. The contest was tight in the opening minutes and W&L led 18-17 with 7:40 to play in the half, but the Tigers used a 16-2 run to take a 33-20 advantage at 3:04 and led 33-26 at the break. H-SC hit 15-of-22 (.556) of its shots in the first half, while the Generals connected on 11-of-21 (.524). Hampden-Sydney held W&L to just four points in the first 10:56 of the second half and owned an 18-point lead (48-30) with 9:21 remaining in the game. The Blue and White rallied late, cutting the lead to five points (62-57) with 47 seconds remaining, but could not get any closer down the stretch. The Generals were led by junior forward Greg Bienemann, who notched a game-high 17 points. Freshman forward Zac White totaled 14 points, while sophomore guard Isaiah Goodman added 12 points. The Tigers were paced by junior guard Tyler Murray’s 15 points on 7-of-7 shooting. Senior guards Mike Edwards and Matt Green and freshman guard Turner King each contributed 10 points.
The Tigers are 12-8 overall and 7-6 in the ODAC following the loss to Emory & Henry on Saturday. The Tigers travel to Guilford on Wednesday, before coming to Lexington for the game on Saturday. In the loss to Emory & Henry, the Tigers were paced by senior guard Matt Green, who tallied 21 points on 10-of-10 shooting from the foul line. Senior guard Mike Edwards tallied 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the charity stripe, while junior guard Tyler Murray notched 16 points and 13 rebounds. Sophomore forward Jyri Laakso added 16 points and 13 boards. For the season, Edwards leads the team in scoring with an average of 12.6 points per game. Junior guard Drew Prehmus averages 12.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, while freshman guard Turner King contributes 12.2 points per game and shoots a team-high 52.0 percent (26-50) from three-point range. Murray (10.6 ppg) and Green (10.2 ppg) also average double-digits.
LAST MEETING WITH LYNCHBURG:
The Washington and Lee men’s basketball team connected on 56.0 percent of its shots from the floor en route to an 84-67 victory at Lynchburg. W&L hit 60.0 percent (15-of-25) of its field goals in the first stanza and took a 42-31 lead into halftime. The Generals held a 53-43 advantage with 12:43 remaining in the contest and never let their advantage slip below double-figures for the duration of the game. The Blue and White were led by junior forward Greg Bienemann, who tied a career-high with 33 points. Senior forward Alex White and sophomore guard Kirk Jones each tallied 10 markers, while senior guard Chris Halkitis added seven points, seven rebounds and seven assists.The Hornets were paced by freshman guard Steven Echols, who racked up 22 points and seven steals.
The Hornets are 6-15 overall and 3-11 in the ODAC following a 95-70 loss to Guilford on Saturday afternoon. The Hornets host Roanoke on Saturday, before traveling to Lexington on Sunday. In the loss to Guilford, freshman guard Steven Echols led the way with 20 points and three steals. Junior guard Kwame Safo added 15 points and five assists. For the season, Echols leads the way with 15.3 points per game. Sophomore forward Drew Norris contributes 13.1 points per game, while freshman forward Danny Reed adds 10.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per outing.
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 six-game improvement from last season, 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 271 of 3800 total minutes this year (7.1%). 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%).
Senior guard Chris Halkitis began his career at W&L as a scoring point guard, but with improved talent around him, he has morphed into one of the top distribution artists in the ODAC. During his first three seasons, the 5-foot-10 guard averaged 10.4 points, 2.4 assists and 9.3 shots per game. This season, Halkitis is averaging just 6.0 points on only 4.4 shots per game. However, his assist totals have shot up to 3.3 assists per game and he has the best assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6-1.0) of his career. Halkitis also averages 3.2 rebounds per game and leads the team with 21 steals. Halkitis, who claims 872 career points, dished out a career-high 11 assists against Eastern Mennonite and had set a previous career-high with seven assists against Lynchburg. He also ranks second all-time at W&L with 154 career three-pointers (154-426, .362).
TEN REASONS WHY W&L HAS POSTED DOUBLE-DIGIT WINS:
W&L's 10 wins this season mark the first 10-win season since the 1997-98 campaign. 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 has 264 assists (13.9 apg) to just 302 turnovers (15.9 topg). 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 47.7 percent from the floor and has shot better than 56 percent from the field in four of the last nine games. The Generals have not shot better than 48 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 69.6 points per game this season still ranks last in the conference, but it is 3.5 points per game better than last year.
• DEFENSE - W&L ranks third in the ODAC in scoring defense, allowing just 67.4 points per game. This total is 8.2 points per game less than the team allowed last season.
• REBOUNDING - W&L holds a +1.8 rebounding margin and is 8-2 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 --