Washington and Lee Men's Basketball Game Notes

Game 21 - W&L (7-14, 5-11) vs. Bridgewater (16-7, 11-6) - February 14, 2000 - 7:00 pm

W&L and Bridgewater have met 97 times over the years, with the Generals holding a 67-30 advantage in the all-time series. Bridgewater won this season's early meeting, 78-71, in Bridgewater, Va.

LAST MEETING W/ BRIDGEWATER (BC 78, W&L 71; 11/28/99; Bridgewater, Va.):
Sophomore center Kyle Williford tied a career-high with 28 points and Bridgewater used a 17-4 start to the game to post a 78-71 win over W&L. The Generals came charging back from an 11-point halftime deficit to cut the Eagles' lead to just three points (71-68) with 1:30 remaining in the game. However, Bridgewater hit its free throws to clinch the win. W&L was led by junior guard Chad Braley, who tied his career-high with 22 points on 6-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc. Sophomore forward Bob Bustamante tallied 14 points. Senior forward Brian Ricketts grabbed 15 rebounds. For the game, the Generals hit 12-of-24 three-point attempts and turned the ball over just 13 times. Senior forward Brad Harrington provided additional scoring punch for the Eagles, tallying 20 points boosted by 12-of-18 free throw shooting.

The Generals will return to action on Wednesday as they travel to Guilford for a 7:30 pm contest.

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 sports a 158-200 (.441) all-time record in the ODAC and is 318-283 (.529) 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 (62-25)
Randolph-Macon (12-42)
Roanoke (33-61)
Virginia Wesleyan (9-17)

Bridgewater is 16-7 overall, 11-6 in the ODAC and is coming off a 79-60 win over Lynchburg on Saturday afternoon in Bridgewater, Va. The Eagles were led by senior forward Brad Harrington, who scored 16 points. Junior guard Jermaine Reed totaled 12 points, while junior forward Shane Burnette notched 10 points and 10 rebounds. BC shot nearly 55 percent for the game and outrebounded the Hornets, 37-23. On the season, Bridgewater is led by Harrington, who averages 16.2 points per game. Sophomore center Kyle Williford also averages 16.2 points and a team-high 7.8 rebounds per game, while Reed averages 10.1 points per game. The Eagles shoot a shade over 49 percent from the floor and outrebound their opponents by an average of 5.4 boards per game.

Washington and Lee held Roanoke to 20 percent shooting in the first half and 41 percent for the game but the 21st-ranked Maroons forced 34 General turnovers in defeating W&L, 69-55, on Saturday evening in Salem, Va. W&L trailed by just one point (20-19) at the break, but a 20-4 second half run by Roanoke broke the game open and gave the Maroons a 51-33 lead with 7:02 remaining. The Generals would not challenge from that point on. The Generals were led by freshman guard Toussaint Crawford, who scored 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Freshman forward Ryan Small tallied 11 points, while senior center Brian Ricketts collected a game-high nine rebounds. Roanoke was led by Colby Leftwich and Brad Dunleavy, who each tallied 17 points. Ben Halterman notched 12 points in the win.

Two of W&L's last three 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.

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.

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 115 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.

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 0-11 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 1-22 on the road the last two seasons.

Junior guard Chad Braley has missed the last two games due to the flu, but still 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. In the last meeting with Bridgewater, he went 6-of-9 from beyond the arc for a career-high tying 22 points. On the season, Braley is shooting a team-best .380 from three-point range.

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 21.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 3.0 steals per game. Together, they have combined to score 33.8 percent of W&L's points this season. Toussaint Crawford, Scott Hetterman, and Ryan Small lead the charge. Crawford averages 7.8 points and 1.7 rebounds per game, Hetterman averages 6.6 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, while Small averages 5.8 points and 2.4 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 at Shenandoah. He tallied 16 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. Crawford had led the team in scoring in five games and posted a high of 27 points in the first meeting with Lynchburg.

Junior guard Will Ballard has had a history of playing his best ball at season's end. Last year, he averaged 15.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game over the team's final six games and he's back to that form again. Over the last three games, Ballard has averaged 14.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. He has hit 50.0 percent (15-30) of his shots from the floor and 47.1 percent (8-17) of his shots from three-point range while going 6-8 from the foul line. Ballard scored a career-high 22 points at Lynchburg on Wednesday, going 8-of-12 from the floor and 4-of-6 from three-point range. He also tallied four rebounds and a team-high five assists in that contest.

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.

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 sixth place. In order for this to happen, W&L would have to win out (Bridgewater and Guilford). Even if W&L drops its final two games, it is still in the drivers seat for the eighth and final seed due to the tie breaker system. A win over Bridgewater or Guilford would give the Generals a berth to the tournament.


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