Game 5 W&L (3-1, 0-0) at Randolph-Macon (2-1, 0-0)
December 2, 2006 2:00 pm
Game 6 W&L (3-1, 0-0) at Virginia Wesleyan (2-1, 0-0)
December 3, 2006 2:00 pm
W&L and Randolph-Macon will be meeting for the 68th time, with the Yellow Jackets claiming a 55-12 series advantage. R-MC has won each of the last 41 meetings dating back to Feb. 9, 1977 when the Generals defeated the Yellow Jackets, 75-73, at the Warner Center. W&L's last win over R-MC in Ashland, Va., occurred during the 1958-59 season (62-56). W&L and Virginia Wesleyan will be meeting for the 39th time, with the Marlins holding a 28-10 advantage in the all-time series. VWC has won nine-straight in the series dating back to the 2001-02 season when W&L emerged with a 57-55 victory.
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 49-126 (.280) overall record. Hutchinson is assisted by Sean Grant (NYU '02) and Stuart Pradia (Brandeis '05).
LAST TIME OUT:
The Washington and Lee men’s basketball team improved to 3-1 for the first time since the 2002-03 season with a 65-52 victory over Oberlin College last Saturday at the Warner Center. The Generals jumped out to an early 12-point lead at 15-3 with 11:21 left in the first half only to see the Yeomen go on a 13-4 run to slice the score to 19-16 with 5:37 left in the half. However, W&L would stretch back to an eight-point lead (28-20) at the break. W&L opened the second half on a 13-5 run to assume a 41-25 lead with 14:45 left in the game, but a 19-2 run by Oberlin over the next 5:10 gave the Yeomen a 44-43 lead with 9:35 left to play. The game remained tight until 5:09 remained when the Generals went on a 14-0 run to take a commanding 65-48 advantage with just over a minute remaining. The Generals were led by junior forward Greg Bienemann, who tallied a game-high 25 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Isaiah Goodman posted nine points, while sophomore forward Ben Heller added eight points and four boards.
Randolph-Macon is currently 2-1 overall after falling to Christopher Newport, 84-77, on Tuesday evening in Newport News, Va. The Yellow Jackets recovered from a sluggish start to assume a 38-35 lead at halftime and would push their advantage to as many as seven points in the early stages of the second stanza. However, the Captains battled back to tie the game at 70-70 and took the lead for good (73-70) on a three-pointer with just over three minutes remaining. Junior forward Jeremy Dixon led R-MC with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore guard Justin Short tallied 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Sophomore guard David Carlson notched 12 points and 13 rebounds and senior guard Adam Krovic chipped in 10 points. For the season, the Yellow Jackets are shooting 52.8 percent from the floor and are led by Carlson, who averages 17.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Short contributes 14.0 points and 5.7 assists per outing, while Krovic averages 11.7 points. Dixon adds 10.7 points and a team-best 9.0 rebounds per game.
SCOUTING VIRGINIA WESLEYAN:
Virginia Wesleyan, last season's Division III National Champion, is 2-1 overall and ranked No. 1 in the latest d3hoops.com poll. The Marlins will play Roanoke on Saturday, before taking on the Generals on Sunday. VWC is coming off a 74-63 win over Salisbury on Wednesday night in Virginia Beach, Va. The Marlins trailed 32-31 at the break, but recovered in the second half to avoid losing a second-straight game after seeing their 29-game winning streak end on Monday with a 81-73 loss at Averett. Senior forward Brandon Adair, last season's national player of the year, paced the Marlins against Salisbury with 25 points and nine rebounds. Junior guard D'Juan Tucker added 14 points. For the season, junior guard Ton Ton Balenga, a Preseason Second Team All-America selection, leads the way with averages of 18.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Adair averages 15.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest, while junior forward Tyler Fantin adds 11.3 points and 7.7 boards per outing.
STRONG START = STRONG FINISH:
A quick start has been imperative to the Generals winning games. Over the past nine years, W&L is 36-23 (.610) when leading at the half. During that same stretch, W&L has won a total of 51 games, meaning that W&L has led at the break in 71 percent of its wins during the last nine years.
STRONG START TO THE SEASON:
W&L's season-opening 82-71 win over Denison was its first win to begin a season since defeating Daniel Webster 79-59 to start the 2002-03 campaign. In fact, it was just the fifth time that W&L opened the season with a win since the beginning of the 1991-92 season. W&L's 3-1 start this season is its best since beginning that same 2002-03 season with a 3-1 record. A win over Randolph-Macon would give the Generals their best start since beginning the 1987-88 campaign with a 6-0 record.
PICKING UP WHERE HE LEFT OFF:
Junior forward Greg Bienemann has picked up right where he left off last season. An Honorable Mention All-ODAC selection a season ago, Bienemann was named to the all-tournament team of the W&L Tip-off Tournament after averaging 13.5 rebounds and 8.0 rebounds per game. Through four games this season, he is averaging 20.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 68.9 percent (31-45) from the floor. The current ODAC Player of the Week, Bienemann averaged 26.5, 7.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game, while shooting 71.4 percent from the floor in a pair of victories last week. In a 78-65 win over Dickinson last Tuesday, Bienemann tallied 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field. He followed that up with a 25-point, eight-rebound performance last Saturday in a win over Oberlin. For W&L, it marked the first time that a player had recorded 20+ points in back-to-back games since Brian Ricketts '00 did so during the 1999-2000 season.
Senior guard Chris Halkitis currently lays claim to 779 career points and can become the first General to score 1,000 career points since Cam Dyer '96 with 221 more markers. Additionally, Halkitis is one of the top three-point shooters in school history, having made 136-of-384 (.354) triples for his career. He is currently tied for second all-time in three-pointers made with Chad Braley '01 and is 71 three's behind all-time leader Mike Holton '91. Halkitis is only averaging 4.8 points per game this season, but he leads the team with 11 assists and eight steals.
ON THE BOARDS:
W&L has done the job on the boards thus far and is out-rebounding its opponents by an average of 6.9 rebounds per game. The Generals have held the rebounding advantage in every game except one (Averett) and hold a +25 advantage on the glass the past two games.
-- GENERALS --