Game 10 W&L (6-3, 1-2 ODAC) at Roanoke (4-7, 0-4 ODAC)
January 6, 2006 7:00 pm
W&L and Roanoke will be meeting for the 108th time, with the Maroons holding a 71-36 advantage in the all-time series. The two teams split the series last season as each team won at home. However, W&L has not won at Roanoke's Bast Center since a 78-67 victory back on Feb. 11, 1989, a string of 17-straight road losses.
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 52-128 (.289) overall record. Hutchinson is assisted by Sean Grant (NYU '02) and Stuart Pradia (Brandeis '05).
LAST TIME OUT:
Junior forward Greg Bienemann scored a game-high 28 points on 11-of-14 shooting from the floor in leading Washington and Lee to a 69-57 win over Emory University in the championship game of the W&L Men’s Basketball Tournament on Saturday evening at the Warner Center. W&L ended a tight first half with a 28-24 lead and scored the first six points in the second stanza to assume a 34-24 lead with 19:06 remaining. Emory responded with its own 6-0 run to cut it to a 34-30 game with 15:21 left in the contest, but the Generals extended back to a double-digit lead shortly thereafter and the Eagles could get no closer than six points the rest of the way. Bienemann was named the tournament MVP, while junior forward Femi Kusimo also garnered all-tournament honors after scoring 12 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Chris McHugh chipped in a career-high 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc. Emory was led by junior guard Dan Smith’s 15 points. Senior guard Adrian Sosa added 13 points and was named to the all-tournament team.
LAST MEETING WITH ROANOKE:
Forward Josh LaPorte notched 13 points and eight rebounds to lead Roanoke to a 62-46 victory over Washington and Lee in Salem, Va. The Generals jumped out to an 8-2 lead with 18:07 remaining in the first half, but scored just 11 points in the rest of the half to trail 30-19 at the break. Following halftime, the Maroons pushed their lead to as many as 29 points (54-25) with 7:55 left en route to the 16-point victory. Roanoke shot 46.3 percent (25-of-54) from the field and forced 26 W&L turnovers, while the Generals shot just 35.7 percent (15-of-42) from the floor. W&L was led by guard John Mumper, who scored a team-high nine points. Forward Ben Heller talled seven points and four rebounds, while forward Femi Kusimo also notched seven points. LaPorte was aided by guard Ben Shrader, who scored nine points.
Roanoke is 4-7 overall and 0-4 in the ODAC after winning the championship of its own Domino's Classic on Thursday. The Maroons have won three straight including victories over Chestnut Hill (89-65) and Drew (60-48) in the tournament. In the championship victory over Drew, Roanoke jumped out to a 29-17 lead at the half and led by no fewer than eight points the rest of the way. Junior guard Ben Shrader led the Maroons with 16 points and was named tournament MVP. Sophomore center Curtis Peery tallied 10 points, while junior forward Josh LaPorte added a team-best 11 rebounds. For the season, Peery leads the team in scoring with an average of 12.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. LaPorte averages 10.6 points and 6.5 boards per contest, while Shrader contributes 9.1 points per game.
STRONG START = STRONG FINISH:
A quick start has been imperative to the Generals winning games. Over the past nine years, W&L is 39-23 (.629) when leading at the half. During that same stretch, W&L has won a total of 54 games, which means that W&L has led at the break in 72 percent of its wins during the last nine years.
STRONG START -- PART TWO:
W&L's 6-3 start to the 2006-07 season marks the program's best start since beginning the 1989-90 season with a 7-2 overall mark. The six wins this season also equals the Generals' combined total for the past two seasons (4-19 in 2005-06 and 2-23 in 2004-05).
Win streaks have been few and far between for the Generals in recent years, which is what makes the team's current three-game winning streak that much better. In fact, it is the best win streak since the 2002-03 season. A win over Roanoke would give W&L its first four-game winning streak since the 1989-90 season.
There are a number of reasons for W&L's 6-3 start to the 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 119 of 1800 total minutes this year (6.6%). 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 lays claim to 822 career points and can become the first General to score 1,000 career points since Cam Dyer '96 with 178 more markers. Additionally, Halkitis is one of the top three-point shooters in school history, having made 144-of-403 (.357) triples for his career. His 144 three's rank second all-time at W&L, just 63 behind all-time leader Mike Holton '91. Halkitis is only averaging 6.9 points per game in 2006-07, but he leads the team with 21 assists and 13 steals.
BIENEMANN THE BETTER MAN:
Junior forward Greg Bienemann is having a tremendous season for W&L and is averaging 20.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 0.6 blocks and 1.0 assists per game this season. He currently ranks third in the ODAC and is tied for 30th in Division III in scoring and his 62.9 field goal percentage ranks fourth in the ODAC and 29th in Division III. The MVP of the W&L Basketball Tournament last week and the ODAC Player of the Week for the week ending November 26, Bienemann has scored 188 points this season and already claims 756 career points in just 57 games (13.3 ppg).
-- GENERALS --