Washington and Lee Men's Basketball Game Notes

Game 20 - W&L (7-12, 5-9) at Lynchburg (7-14, 4-11) - February 9, 2000 - 7:00 pm

W&L and Lynchburg will be meeting for the 87th time, with the Generals holding a 62-24 advantage in the all-time series. W&L has taken four of the last five meetings, including a 96-92 four-overtime win over the Hornets earlier this season in Lexington.

LAST MEETING W/ LYNCHBURG (W&L 96, LC 92; 1/12/00; Lexington, Va.):
Senior center Brian Ricketts posted career-highs in points (27), rebounds (21), and blocks (6) to help lead Washington and Lee to a 96-92 four-overtime win over Lynchburg at the Warner Center. The Generals trailed by as many as 16 points (41-25) with 16:34 remaining in regulation, but outscored the Hornets 32-14 over the next 13:47 to take a 57-55 lead with 3:47 remaining. The two teams then ended the second half tied, 60-60. Both teams had numerous opportunities to win the game in the four overtimes, but no team could take control until Ricketts broke a 90-90 tie on a layup with 36 seconds remaining in the fourth overtime. Ricketts then made 3-of-4 free throws in the final 11 seconds to seal the win. Freshman guard Toussaint Crawford also tallied a career-high 27 points on 12-of-18 shooting. Junior guard Chad Braley amassed 15 points, including four three-pointers that helped the Generals slice into their second half deficit. Sophomore forward Bob Bustamante added 11 points and seven rebounds. Lynchburg was led by senior forward Dennis Brown. Brown tallied a game-high 32 points and 10 rebounds. Senior forward Jerry O'Hara scored 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the loss. For the game, Washington and Lee shot just 48.6 percent from the foul line (18-37), while Lynchburg shot 63 percent (17-27).

The Generals will return to action on Saturday, when they travel to Roanoke College for a 7:00 pm game.

Jeff Lafave (Southern Connecticut St. '93) is in his first season as the interim head coach at W&L and claims a 7-12 record. Lafave was an assistant coach with the W&L program last season after spending three seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. During Lafave's time at Williams, the Ephs advanced to two NCAA Division III "Final Fours" and one "Sweet 16".

W&L sports a 158-198 (.444) all-time record in the ODAC and is 318-282 (.530) all-time against the current members of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. The following is a breakdown of the Generals vs. the members of the ODAC:

Bridgewater (67-30)
Eastern Mennonite (37-20)
Emory & Henry (49-26)
Guilford (9-13)
Hampden-Sydney (40-53)
Lynchburg (62-24)
Randolph-Macon (12-42)
Roanoke (33-60)
Virginia Wesleyan (9-17)

Lynchburg is 7-14 on the season, 4-11 in the ODAC. Most recently, the Hornets fell to Roanoke in overtime, 91-77. Lynchburg trailed by 22 points in the second half, but outscored the Maroons 35-15 over the final 11 minutes of the game to force overtime. Roanoke then outscored the Hornets 15-1 in the extra frame. Senior forward Jerry O'Hara led Lynchburg with 17 points and seven rebounds. Junior forward Dennis Brown tallied 13 points and five assists, while senior guard Chris Whelan totaled 11 points. On the season, the Hornets are led by Brown, who averages 19.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. O'Hara averages 10.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game, with Whelan close behind (9.5 ppg., 3.4 rpg.). Lynchburg has played in four overtime games this season and has five losses by a total of 12 points.

Freshman forward Jared Mills scored 24 points and collected 16 rebounds to help lead Randolph-Macon to a 76-70 overtime victory over Washington and Lee on Monday evening at the Warner Center. W&L led by three points (63-60) with 13 seconds remaining in the second half, however, R-MC freshman forward Jamie Rice hit a three-pointer with five seconds remaining to knot the score at 63-63. Junior guard Will Ballard's three-pointer at the buzzer fell short and the two teams headed to overtime. Washington and Lee struck first, taking a five-point lead (68-63) just 1:20 into the overtime on a layup by senior center Brian Ricketts and a three-pointer by Ballard. However, the Yellow Jackets (12-10, 9-7) outscored W&L 13-2 the rest of the overtime period to claim the six-point victory. Ballard led the Generals with 14 points and six rebounds, while Ricketts totaled 10 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman guard Will Cotter tallied 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Rice tallied 15 points and senior guard Mike LaGuardia notched 11 points for the Yellow Jackets. R-MC shot 49.1 percent from the floor and 55.6 percent from three-point land, but had 21 turnovers. Washington and Lee shot 40.6 percent from the floor, while committing just 15 turnovers.

The Generals four overtime game with Lynchburg marked the longest game in W&L history. It also was the first time W&L has played in back-to-back overtime games since the 1979-80 season. W&L defeated Greensboro in overtime prior to defeating Lynchburg. The Greensboro win also snapped a streak of seven consecutive overtime losses dating back to the 1994-95 season.

W&L has played in four overtime affairs this season and claims a 2-2 record in those contests. W&L is 2-1 in overtime games at home and 0-1 in overtime games on the road. W&L has played a total of seven overtime periods this season.

Senior forward Scott Hudson, senior guard Walt Plyler, and junior guard Will Ballard are climbing the W&L career charts this season. Hudson is third in W&L history with 114 career blocks and Plyler is fourth all-time at W&L in career assists (298). Plyler can move into third place with two more assists. Ballard is approaching the Top 5 all-time at W&L in career steals (112). He needs 17 more to jump into fifth place.

Judy Garland knew what she was talking about. The Generals have enjoyed the comforts of home, posting a 7-3 record in the Warner Center this season. On the flip side, W&L is 0-9 on the road and hasn't won in an opponents' gym since a 67-55 victory over Guilford on Nov. 24, 1998. W&L is 1-20 on the road the last two seasons.

It was once said that the best thing about freshman is that they turn into sophomores. In some cases that's true, but not when speaking of the W&L freshman class. The Generals' seven freshmen have combined to average 20.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.8 steals per game. Together, they have combined to score 32 percent of W&L's points this season. Toussaint Crawford and Scott Hetterman lead the charge. Crawford averages 7.8 points and 1.7 rebounds per game, while Hetterman averages 6.3 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. Hetterman is coming off a career-best performance against Shenandoah in which he tallied 16 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. Crawford had led the team in scoring in four games and posted a high of 27 points in the first meeting with Lynchburg.

Junior guard Chad Braley leads the team with 35 made three-pointers. Braley has been especially potent of late, hitting 12 of his last 23 attempts (.522) from beyond the arc. Against Villa Julie, Braley broke the school record for three-point field goal percentage with a 5-for-5 performance from the land of triples. The old record of 83.3 percent (5-6) had been held by Mike Holton since the 1988-89 season. On the season, Braley is shooting a team-best .380 from three-point range.

Junior guard Will Ballard began the season on a tear from the charity stripe, hitting eight of his first nine free throws on the season, before tailing off a bit. However, Ballard is back to his old form, having hit each of his last 10 and 13 of his last 14 from the charity stripe.

Senior center Brian Ricketts has been cleaning the glass this season, leading the ODAC with an average of 8.5 rebounds per game. Should he continue at this pace, he would claim the highest single-season rebounding average at W&L since Brian Hanson's 8.8 average during the 1980-81 season.

As the ODAC Tournament approaches one question is always asked, "Where can they finish?" The following is a best and worst case scenario for the Generals as they finish the season. The best W&L can finish is in fourth place. In order for this to happen, W&L would have to win out (Lynchburg, Roanoke, Bridgewater, and Guilford) and have Bridgewater drop its final three games. In addition, Virginia Wesleyan must lose two of its last three. To assure itself of a spot in the tournament, W&L must win two of its final four games or get some help. A win over Lynchburg would leave the Generals in good shape for the eighth seed as Lynchburg must face Bridgewater and Hampden-Sydney in its final two games and would have to beat both to earn the eighth seed if W&L lost its final three games. Wins over Lynchburg and Guilford would assure the Generals a spot in the tournament. If W&L loses to Lynchburg, it must win two of its final three games and have Lynchburg drop one to assure itself of a bid or win one game and hope that Emory & Henry or Eastern Mennonite drop their final games.


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