Game 13 W&L (8-4, 3-3 ODAC) at Hampden-Sydney (9-5, 4-3 ODAC)
Hampden-Sydney, Va. • January 20, 2007 2:00 pm
Game 14 W&L (8-4, 3-3 ODAC) at Lynchburg (6-8, 3-4 ODAC)
Lynchburg, Va. • January 21, 2007 3:00 pm
LAST TIME OUT:
Washington and Lee sophomore forward Kirk Jones rebounded a miss and hit a layup with 2.2 seconds remaining to lift the Generals to a 98-96 victory over Emory & Henry on Wednesday evening at the Warner Center. The Generals built a nine-point (56-47) lead at halftime and extended their advantage to as many as 15 points at 74-59 with 12:03 left in the game. However, the Wasps immediately surged on a 19-4 run to tie the game at 78-78 with 7:47 left in the game. The game remained tight from that point on and E&H assumed its first lead of the second half at 91-90 with 2:02 left. 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. A frisson of missed shots and offensive rebounds by the Generals occurred in the final seconds until Jones made good with his follow-up basket. The Wasps did not get a shot off in the final 2.2 seconds as W&L escaped with its fifth victory in the last six games. The Generals shot a season-best 67.7 percent (42-62) from the floor led by Bienemann, who tallied a season-high 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.
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 54-131 (.292) overall record. Hutchinson is assisted by Sean Grant (NYU '02) and Stuart Pradia (Brandeis '05).
W&L and Hampden-Sydney will be meeting for the 107th time and the Tigers claim a 66-40 series edge. H-SC has won 18-straight in the series, a stretch which dates back to a 44-40 W&L win at Hampden-Sydney during the 1997-98 season. W&L and Lynchburg will enjoy their centennial meeting in the series. The Generals hold a 68-31 lead in the all-time series, after the teams split their two games last season. W&L's 68 wins over Lynchburg are the second-most against an opponent, trailing only the 69 all-time wins against Bridgewater.
LAST MEETING WITH HAMPDEN-SYDNEY:
Hampden-Sydney had four players score in double figures in posting an 84-63 victory over Washington and Lee in Hampden-Sydney, Va. The Generals led 21-19 with 7:51 left in the first half, but the Tigers took a 33-30 lead with 2:48 remaining. H-SC then closed out the half on a 7-0 run to take a 40-30 advantage into the break. The Tigers maintained their double-digit edge throughout the entire second half and lead by as many as 26 points on four different occasions. H-SC shot 52 percent (27-of-52) from the field and was 22-of-32 from the free throw line. The Generals shot 41 percent (23-of-56) from the floor and held a 35-33 rebounding advantage. W&L was led by forward Femi Kusimo, who scored a team-high 13 points and had a game-high three blocks. Forward Alex White had 11 points and nine rebounds, while guard John Mumper chipped in nine points. Guards Mike Edwards and Drew Prehmus each scored 15 points to lead the Tigers. Center Aaron Lewek and forward Troy Kaase added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
LAST MEETING WITH LYNCHBURG:
Lynchburg guard Kwame Safo forced overtime by hitting a jumper with six seconds remaining, but Washington and Lee scored eight of the first nine points in the extra frame as the Generals defeated the Hornets, 78-71, at the Warner Center. Lynchburg led 31-30 at the half, but the Generals assumed the lead early in the second half and extended to a 47-40 advantage with 12:58 remaining in the game. The Hornets clawed back to regain the lead at 50-47 with 8:01 remaining in regulation on a three-pointer by guard Matthew Sweeney, but W&L took the lead back (63-61) with 1:30 left in regulation on a layup by forward Greg Bienemann, setting up Safo’s game-tying shot. In the extra frame, the Generals took the lead on a jumper by guard Chris Halkitis just 31 seconds into overtime and never trailed again, leading by as many as 10 points (78-68). W&L was led by Bienemann, who scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Forward John Mumper also tallied 17 points and six boards, while Halkitis notched 15 points, five rebounds and five assists. Guard Isaiah Goodman added 12 points. Lynchburg was paced by Sweeney’s 21 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Guard Andy Albright chipped in 11 points.
The Tigers are 9-5 overall and 4-3 in the ODAC following a 90-63 win over Lynchburg on Wednesday evening. H-SC jumped out to a 26-9 lead and never looked back in claiming the 27-point victory. The Tigers were paced by junior guard Tyler Murray's 17 points and career-high 10 rebounds. Freshman guard Turner King also notched 17 points in just 20 minutes, while senior guard Matt Green totaled 11 points. For the season, the Tigers are led by junior guard Drew Prehmus's 13.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. King averages 13.3 points per game and shoots a team-best 52.6 percent (20-38) from three-point range, while senior guard Mike Edwards contributes 12.1 points per game. Green averages 10.9 points and 4.4 assists per game to round out the double-digit scorers. A fifth player, junior forward Troy Kaase, was averaging in double-figures (15.5 pts., 8.9 rebs.), but has been lost for the season with a knee injury.
The Hornets are 6-8 overall and 3-4 in the ODAC after the 27-point loss to Hampden-Sydney on Wednesday. They will play at Roanoke on Saturday, before hosting the Generals on Sunday. Against the Tigers, LC shot just 39.0 percent for the game and was out-rebounded 46-26. Freshman guard Steven Echols led the Hornets with 18 points on 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Sophomore forward Drew Norris added 16 points on 4-of-8 shooting from three-point land, while senior center Peter Vasiliou contributed seven points and three boards. The Hornets have already doubled their win total (3) from all of last season, despite losing many of their top players to graduation. One of the reasons for the success in 2006-07 has been the play of Echols, who averages a team-high 15.8 points per game, while shooting 50.7 percent (77-152) from the floor and 53.7 percent (22-41) from three-point range. He also averages 4.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Norris averages 14.5 points per game, while freshman forward Danny Reed gives LC 11.6 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
STRONG START = STRONG FINISH:
Washington and Lee is 7-0 this season when it builds a halftime lead. Success in maintaining leads is nothing new as W&L has compiled a 41-23 (.641) record over the past nine years when it leads at the break. W&L has won a total of 56 games during that stretch, meaning that the Generals have led at halftime in better than 73 percent of their wins in the last nine years.
There are a number of reasons for W&L's 8-4 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 152 of 2400 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 844 career points and is one of the top three-point shooters in school history, having made 147-of-410 (.359) triples for his career. His 147 three's rank second all-time at W&L, just 60 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 34 assists and 14 steals.
BIENEMANN THE BETTER MAN:
Junior forward Greg Bienemann is having a tremendous season for W&L and is averaging 21.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 0.5 blocks and 0.8 assists per game this season. Bienemann has scored in double figures in all 12 games this season and has seven 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 258 points this season and already claims 826 career points in just 60 games (13.8 ppg).
Bienemann hasn't done it all by himself in the post as junior forward Femi Kusimo joins him to form a dynamic duo in the paint. Kusimo is second on the team in scoring (11.8 ppg) and rebounding (5.5 rpg) and he is shooting 61.5 percent from the floor. Kusimo has seven double-digit scoring efforts this season and scored a career-high 21 points in an 81-74 victory over Bridgewater last Saturday. The past two games, Kusimo is averaging 18.5 points and 7.5 rebounds, while shooting 89.5 percent (17-19) from the floor.
SENSATIONAL AS A STARTER:
Sophomore guard Chris McHugh has come into his own since being named a starter prior to the King's Point game on Dec. 29. Since that point, he has averaged 9.2 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Additionally, over those five games, he has shot 62.5 percent (15-24) from the floor, 58.3 percent (7-12) from three-point range and 90.0 percent (9-10) from the foul line. For the season, McHugh is averaging 6.1 points, 1.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.
Sophomore forward Kirk Jones may be the forgotten man in the Generals' starting lineup due to his simple (not flashy) game or simple name, but that doesn't mean his contribution is not felt by the team. Jones stepped up to make sure his name was heard in the win over Emory & Henry on Wednesday by tallying a season-high 14 points, a season-high six rebounds and he tied a career-high with six assists. Jones also hit the winning shot with 2.2 seconds remaining, the first General to win a game in the final seconds since Ian McClure did so against the Wasps in 2001. For the season, Jones is one of three players to have started all 12 games and he averages 6.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. His 30 assists are second on the team and he has turned the ball over just 12 times.
Washington and Lee has won five out of its last six games, with the lone loss coming on the road at Roanoke by just four points (68-64). The streak is W&L's best stretch since winning 6-of-7 during the middle of the 1990-91 season. During the last six games, W&L is shooting 54.1 percent (171-316) from the floor, holds a +4.0 rebounding margin (36.0-32.0), has a near 1-1 assist to turnover ratio (100-102) and is averaging 78.0 points per game.
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 last 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 8-4 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). W&L's eight wins this season already surpass the last two seasons combined (4-19 in 05-06 and 2-23 in 04-05).
IT'S BEEN A WHILE:
The Generals shot a season-high 67.7 percent (42-62) from the floor in the win over Emory & Henry on Wednesday. This outing comes on the heels of a 65.9 percent shooting effort against Bridgewater last Saturday. Prior to the last two games, W&L's last performance of better than 65.0 percent shooting was a 66.0 percent (35-53) effort 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 on Dec. 3, 1981.
-- GENERALS --