Game 12 W&L (7-4, 2-3 ODAC) vs. Emory & Henry (7-5, 3-3 ODAC)
January 17, 2007 7:00 pm
W&L and Emory & Henry are meeting for the 88th time, with the Generals holding a 51-36 advantage in the all-time series. However, the Wasps have won each of the last eight encounters, including a 122-97 victory over W&L in the final meeting last season. The 122 points scored by E&H were the most-ever allowed by a W&L basketball team.
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 53-131 (.288) overall record. Hutchinson is assisted by Sean Grant (NYU '02) and Stuart Pradia (Brandeis '05).
LAST TIME OUT:
The W&L men’s basketball team connected on 65.9 percent (27-of-41) of its shots from the field to end a 21-game ODAC road losing streak with a 81-74 victory over Bridgewater on Saturday evening. The Generals, who had not won a conference game on the road since the 2003-04 season, opened the game with an 11-point lead (15-4) in the first 8:32 of the game and never trailed for the duration of the contest, owning a 30-23 advantage at the break. The Eagles cut the lead to four points several times during the second half, but could never get any closer as W&L hit 9-of-12 from the foul line in the final 1:51 to preserve the win. The Generals were led by junior forward Greg Bienemann, who notched a game-high 26 points and a team-high six rebounds. Junior forward Femi Kusimo racked up a career-high 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the floor. Senior guard Chris Halkitis added eight points and five assists.
LAST MEETING WITH EMORY & HENRY:
Emory & Henry shot a season-high 38.5 percent (20-of-52) from three-point range en route to a 122-97 victory over Washington and Lee in Emory, Va. The Wasps led 24-11 with 12:22 left in the first half, but the Generals went on an 11-0 run to slice the deficit to two points (24-22) at the 9:55 mark. E&H responded with a 13-2 spurt to go up 37-24 with 6:41 left and never surrended its double-digit lead for the rest of the game. The Wasps scored 38 points off 30 W&L turnovers and shot 47.2 percent (42-of-89) from the field. W&L was led by forward John Mumper, who tied his career-high with 20 points. Guard Isaiah Goodman notched 16 points, five rebounds and four steals, while forward Greg Bienemann recorded 14 points and nine rebounds. Forward Alex White added a career-high tying 11 points and six boards and guard Chris McHugh chipped in 10 points. Guard Cain Landreth’s 16 points led the Wasps. Guards Robert Hudson and Andrew Hart each chipped in with 15 points.
SCOUTING EMORY & HENRY:
On Saturday, the Wasps fell to Guilford by a score of 130-114. Sophomore guard Camillo Weinz paced four players in double figures with 23 points on 5-of-9 shooting from three-point range. Hart notched 20 points and drilled a team-high six three-pointers, while senior guard Lance Reasbeck totaled 15 points. Junior guard Shavar Bland added 10 points. E&H hit 21-of-73 (.288) three-point shots, but could not overcome 68.2 percent shooting from the Quakers and a 63-32 disadvantage on the boards. For the season, Emory & Henry is averaging 109.5 points and 16.8 three-pointers per game, both of which rank in the Top 5 in Division III. The Wasps have 15 players averaging 12 or more minutes per game, led by Weinz, who averages 12.2 points in just 13.2 minutes of action. Reasbeck (12.0 ppg), senior guard Korey Townsend (10.8 pgg), Hart (10.3 ppg) and Bland (10.1 ppg) all join Weinz as double-figure scorers.
STRONG START = STRONG FINISH:
Washington and Lee is 6-0 this season when it builds a halftime lead. Success in maintaining leads is nothing new as W&L has compiled a 40-23 (.635) record over the past nine years when it leads at the break. W&L has won a total of 55 games during that stretch, meaning that the Generals have led at halftime in nearly 73 percent of their wins in the last nine years.
There are a number of reasons for W&L's 7-4 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 138 of 2200 total minutes this year (6.3%). 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 837 career points and can become the first General to score 1,000 career points since Cam Dyer '96 with 163 more markers. Additionally, Halkitis is one of the top three-point shooters in school history, having made 146-of-408 (.358) triples for his career. His 146 three's rank second all-time at W&L, just 61 behind all-time leader Mike Holton '91. Halkitis is only averaging 7.0 points per game in 2006-07, but he leads the team with 28 assists and 14 steals.
BIENEMANN THE BETTER MAN:
Junior forward Greg Bienemann is having a tremendous season for W&L and is averaging 20.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 0.6 blocks and 0.8 assists per game this season. Bienemann has scored in double figures in all 11 games this season and has six games of 20 or more points. The MVP of the W&L Basketball Tournament and the ODAC Player of the Week for the week ending November 26, Bienemann has scored 228 points this season and already claims 796 career points in just 59 games (13.5 ppg).
SENSATIONAL AS A STARTER:
Sophomore guard Chris McHugh has shown flashes of brilliance throughout his first two seasons with the W&L basketball team, but he has really come of age recently after being named a starter. McHugh's first start came on Dec. 29 against King's Point and since that point, he has averaged 9.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Additionally, over those four games, McHugh has shot 63.2 percent (12-19) from the floor and 63.6 percent (7-11) from three-point range. He notched nine points against King's Point, tied a career-high with 11 points against Emory and set a new career-high with 12 points against Roanoke. During the four contests, McHugh has also dished out 11 assists and turned the ball over just three times. For the season, he is averaging 5.8 points per game.
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 (11.4 ppg) and rebounding (5.2 rpg), and he shoots 58.6 percent from the floor. Kusimo has six double-digit scoring efforts this season, including a career-high 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting in the 81-74 victory over Bridgewater on Saturday. In that win, Kusimo began the scoring with a steal and a dunk. He had one more in the game, has six this season and has posted 16 dunks for his career.
Washington and Lee is currently 5-1 within the friendly confines of the Warner Center. The lone loss was a 79-56 setback to Averett back on Nov. 18 in the championship game of the W&L Tip-off Tournament.
ON THE ROAD:
The Generals are 2-3 on the road in 2006-07 and snapped a 21-game road losing streak to ODAC opponents with the 81-74 victory over Bridgewater on Saturday. W&L has not won more than two road games in a season since the 2003-04 campaign in which it went 3-9 on the road.
FOR THE RECORD:
W&L's 7-4 start to the 2006-07 season is its best since beginning the 1989-90 campaign with a 10-3 mark. Incidently, that season was also the last in which the Generals finished with a winning record (15-12, 8-8 ODAC). Additionally, W&L's seven wins this season are already more than the last two seasons combined (4-19 in 05-06 and 2-23 in 04-05).
IT'S BEEN A WHILE:
Junior forwards Greg Bienemann (26) and Femi Kusimo (career-high 21) both tallied more than 20 points in the 81-74 win over Bridgewater on Saturday. That marked the first time that W&L has had more than one player record 20 points in a single game since Brian Ricketts (27) and Toussaint Crawford (27) achieved the feat in a 96-92 quadruple-overtime win over Lynchburg on Jan. 12, 2000, just one day over seven years to the date.
IT'S BEEN EVEN LONGER:
The Generals shot a season-high 65.9 percent (27-41) from the floor en route to the 81-74 victory over Bridgewater on Saturday. Not only was this W&L's top shooting performance for the 2006-07 season, but it was the Generals best shooting performance since hitting on 66.0 percent (35-53) in a 78-76 loss to Salisbury on Nov. 22, 1985. The school record for field goal percentage in a game is 68.0 percent (34-50), set in a 94-84 win over Shenandoah during the 1981-82 season.
-- GENERALS --