W&L and Roanoke will be meeting for the 94th time, with the Maroons holding a 60-33 advantage in the all-time series. Roanoke has taken each of the past 10 meetings dating back to a W&L win on Jan. 7, 1995. W&L won that contest 85-65 at the Warner Center.
LAST MEETING W/ ROANOKE (RC 90, W&L 59; 1/8/00; Lexington, Va.):
Senior guard Paris Butler tied a Roanoke record by hitting six three-pointers en route to a game-high 20 points in leading the Maroons to a 90-59 win over Washington and Lee at the Warner Center. Leading 34-28 with 1:05 left in the first half, Roanoke surged on a 19-2 run over the next 5:33 to take a commanding 55-30 lead with 14:32 remaining. They would cruise from there to the win. Junior forward Jason Strickland scored 18 points and junior guard Brad Dunleavy added 11 points to lead the Maroons. W&L was led by sophomore forward Bob Bustamante, who scored 16 points. Freshman guard Scott Hetterman scored 10 points and claimed seven rebounds.
UP NEXT FOR W&L:
The Generals will return to action on Monday as they host Bridgewater in a 7:00 pm contest.
THE HEAD COACH:
Jeff Lafave (Southern Connecticut St. '93) is in his first season as the interim head coach at W&L. 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.
W&L vs. THE ODAC:
W&L sports a 158-199 (.443) 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:
Eastern Mennonite (37-20)
Emory & Henry (49-26)
Virginia Wesleyan (9-17)
Roanoke is 18-4 on the season, 13-3 in the ODAC. The Maroons are coming off a 105-81 win over Eastern Mennonite on Wednesday evening in Salem, Va. Roanoke was led by junior guard Brad Dunleavy, who scored 20 points, and senior guard Paris Butler, who totaled 19 points and eight assists. Junior forward Colby Leftwich and senior forward Kyle Murphy also scored in double figures. Leftwich tallied 18 points and nine rebounds, while Murphy scored 17 points and grabbed 11 boards. Roanoke is ranked 21st in Division III and isn't showing the affects of losing its leading scorer (15.5) and rebounder (6.9) in Jason Strickland. Strickland is out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury. Dunleavy averages 14.6 points and 3.1 rebounds per game, while Butler averages 11.5 points per game and shoots a league-best 47.2 percent from three-point range. Leftwich averages 10.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. The Maroons average 82 points per game and force 22.4 turnovers per game.
LAST TIME OUT:
The Washington and Lee men's basketball team suffered its second consecutive overtime defeat, falling to the Lynchburg Hornets by a score of 68-63 on Wednesday evening. The Generals had a chance to win the game in regulation, possessing the ball with the score tied and only 22 seconds left to play. W&L, however, was not able to muster a shot, and the teams went into the extra period with the score tied at 54-54. The squads traded baskets throughout the first half of the overtime, but in the end the difference came at the charity stripe. Holding a two-point lead, Lynchburg hit on three-of-four crucial free-throws in the last 11 seconds to ice the victory. The Hornets were led in scoring by Mike Gleason, who tallied a career-high 20 points in the win. Dennis Brown amassed 17 points and seven rebounds. Junior guard Will Ballard led the Generals with a career and game-high 22 points, including four-of six from behind the three-point arc. He also dished out five assists. Freshman forward Ryan Small chipped in with a career-high 17 points, including three-of-four treys. Senior center Brian Ricketts led the Generals in the post, collecting 11 points and 12 rebounds. For the game, W&L shot 51.1 percent from the floor while holding the Hornets to just 36.4 percent. The Generals connected on 8-of-14 three-point attempts for 57.1 percent, but suffered 27 turnovers, compared to just 13 for Lynchburg.
FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING:
Each of W&L's last two games have gone to overtime, a 76-70 loss to Randolph-Macon on Monday, and a 68-63 loss to Lynchburg on Wednesday. All told, the Generals have played in five overtime games this season, a new school record. In addition, W&L has played in a total of eight overtime periods after having defeated Lynchburg in four overtimes earlier this season. W&L has also played in back-to-back overtime games twice this season, marking the first time that has happened to the Generals since the 1979-80 season.
IF IT GOES TO AN EXTRA FRAME:
W&L's record in overtime games this season is 2-3. The Generals began the season 2-0 in overtimes, but have dropped each of their last three, all in conference contests. W&L is 2-1 in overtime games at home, 0-2 on the road. W&L's overtime win over Greensboro snapped a streak of seven consecutive overtime losses dating back to the 1994-95 season.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS:
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 third all-time at W&L in career assists (303). Ballard can jump into fifth place all-time in steals with 17 more thefts. He currently has 112 for his career.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME; THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME:
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 0-10 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 1-21 on the road the last two seasons.
THEY'RE ALMOST SOPHOMORES NOW:
It was once said that the best thing about freshman is that they become 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 21.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 2.8 steals per game. Together, they have combined to score 32.3 percent of W&L's points this season. Toussaint Crawford, Scott Hetterman, and Ryan Small lead the charge. Crawford averages 7.5 points and 1.6 rebounds per game, while Hetterman averages 6.4 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, while Small averages 5.4 points and 2.3 rebunds per game. Small is coming off a career-best 17-point, five-rebound performance on Wednesday at Lynchburg, while Hetterman compiled his best game last week at Shenandoah. 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.
BALLARD AT THE STRIPE:
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 12 and 15 of his last 16 from the charity stripe.
Senior center Brian Ricketts has been cleaning the glass this season, leading the ODAC with an average of 8.7 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.
WHERE CAN THE GENERALS FINISH?:
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 fifth place. In order for this to happen, W&L would have to win out (Roanoke, Bridgewater, and Guilford) and have Virginia Wesleyan drop its final two games. Even if W&L drops its final three games, it is still in the drivers seat for the eighth and final seed due to the tie breaker system. One win would further strengthen the Generals' position as would two wins, depending on the outcome of games involving the four other teams fighting for a tournament berth.