Game 7 W&L (3-3, 0-2) vs. Eastern Mennonite (4-2, 0-0)
December 6, 2006 7:00 pm
W&L and Eastern Mennonite are meeting for the 70th time, with the Generals holding a 44-25 advantage in the all-time series. The two teams split the season series last season as W&L defeated the Royals, 91-68, in the last meeting back on Feb. 11.
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 49-128 (.277) overall record. Hutchinson is assisted by Sean Grant (NYU '02) and Stuart Pradia (Brandeis '05).
LAST TIME OUT:
Defending national champion and top-ranked Virginia Wesleyan shot 52.8 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Washington and Lee men’s basketball team, 43-17, en route to a 74-50 win on Sunday afternoon in Virginia Beach, 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 ODAC 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.
LAST MEETING WITH EASTERN MENNONITE:
Washington and Lee shot a season-high 58.9 percent from the field in posting a 91-68 win over Eastern Mennonite at the Warner Center last February 11. The Generals took the lead for good at 7-5 with 17:59 remaining in the first half and shot 60.7 percent in the half en route to a 46-35 lead at the break. EMU sliced the lead to two points (63-61) with 8:29 remaining in the game, but W&L went on a 17-0 run to assume a commanding 80-61 lead with 4:18 left in the contest. Guard Chris Halkitis paced four Generals in double figures with a season-high 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the floor. Guard Isaiah Goodman notched 15 points and dished five assists, while forward John Mumper registered 15 points and four assists. Forward Alex White chipped in a career-high 12 points on 6-of-6 shooting from the floor. Eastern Mennonite was led by senior forward E.J. Arrington’s 16 points. Senior center Jason Lentz and sophomore guard Korey Whiting added 12 points each.
SCOUTING EASTERN MENNONITE:
Eastern Mennonite defeated Valley Forge Christian, 95-83, in the Don Glick Invitational at Bridgewater on Sunday afternoon. The Royals were paced by junior forward Brad Parkes, who tallied 23 points and 10 rebounds. Senior forward Jason Sager tallied 19 points, while freshman forward Yanni El' De Jesus and junior guard Jered Lyons chipped in 16 points each. Through six games, Eastern Mennonite is led by Sager, who averages 20.3 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game, while shooting 54.9 percent from the field. Parkes contributes 18.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per outing and is shooting 56.3 percent from the floor. Lyons averages 12.6 points per game and sophomore guard LeRoger Parrish adds 10.2 points per contest.
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, which means that W&L has led at the break in 71 percent of its wins during the last nine years.
Senior guard Chris Halkitis lays claim to 792 career points and can become the first General to score 1,000 career points since Cam Dyer '96 with 208 more markers. Additionally, Halkitis is one of the top three-point shooters in school history, having made 139-of-391 (.355) triples for his career. His 139 three's rank second all-time at W&L, just 68 behind the Generals' all-time leader, Mike Holton '91. Halkitis is only averaging 5.3 points per game in 2006, but he leads the team with 13 assists and 10 steals.
TWENTY TIMES THREE:
Junior forward Greg Bienemann is having a tremendous season for W&L and is averaging 20.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 0.8 blocks and 0.8 assists per game this season. He is shooting 60.5 percent (49-81) from the floor this season and has scored in double figures in every game this season. In fact, he recently completed a stretch of three-straight 20-point games, the first General to notch 20+ points in at least two-straight games since Brian Ricketts '00 did so during the 1999-2000 season. An All-Tournament selection at the season-opening W&L Invitational and the ODAC Player of the Week for the week ending November 26, Bienemann has scored 121 points this season and already claims 689 career points in just 54 games (12.8 ppg).
Junior forward Femi Kusimo has been a formidable player for the Generals over his first three seasons. Kusimo is currently second on the team in scoring (10.8 ppg) and rebounding (5.2 rpg), and he shoots 55.6 percent from the floor. Kusimo has four double-digit scoring efforts this season, including a season-best 17 points against Randolph-Macon on Saturday. An extremely athletic player, Kusimo claims two dunks this season and 12 dunks for his career.
W&L is off to a decent start (3-3) to the 2006-07 season due, in part, to the experience that the Generals have carried into the season. 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 82 of 1200 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%).
-- GENERALS --