W&L and Virginia Wesleyan will be meeting for the 25th time this afternoon, with the Marlins holding a 16-8 advantage in the all-time series. VWC has taken 10 of the last 11 meetings, including both games last season.
LAST MEETING W/ VIRGINIA WESLEYAN (VWC 92, W&L 57; 2/3/99; Lexington, Va.):
Center Jason Nickerson scored a game-high 26 points on 8-of-11 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds to help lead Virginia Wesleyan to an 80-71 victory over Washington and Lee at the Warner Center. The Marlins shot 57.1 percent for the game, including 66.7 percent in the second half, while outrebounding the Generals, 30-23. After trailing 39-30 at the half and despite VWC's hot shooting, W&L was able to take a two-point lead (56-54) with 8:23 remaining in the game on a pair of free throws by forward Scott Hudson. However, Virginia Wesleyan would surge on a 10-1 run over the next 3:10 to assume a seven-point lead (64-57) that they would not relinquish. Guard Tim Petrillo and forward Troy Walton joined Nickerson in double-figure scoring for VWC, adding 17 and 11 points, respectively. Forward Will Ballard led W&L with 13 points and three assists. Hudson tallied 12 points and guard Kevin Cobbin added 11 points.
UP NEXT FOR W&L:
The Generals will return to action on Tue., Jan. 4, when they host Guilford College 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 and claims an 1-4 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 vs. THE ODAC:
W&L sports a 154-193 (.444) all-time record in the ODAC and is 314-277 (.531) 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 (36-20)
Emory & Henry (49-25)
Virginia Wesleyan (8-15)
SCOUTING VIRGINIA WESLEYAN:
Virginia Wesleyan is 2-6 overall, 0-3 in the ODAC. Most recently, the Blue Marlins defeated the Apprentice School, 73-69, on December 16. Ron Yuhasz led VWC with a game-high 22 points and nine rebounds. Tim Petrillo added 19 points and Josh Fisher chipped in with 11 points. On the season, Petrillo leads the team with an average of 21.6 points per game. He has hit a team-high 26 three-pointers and is second on the team in assists (3.5). Yuhasz averages 20.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, while Fisher averages 12.0 points and 5.6 boards per contest.
LAST TIME OUT:
Washington and Lee, playing its first home game of the season, posted a 21-4 lead in the first 7:52 of the game and cruised to a 67-53 win over Emory & Henry on Wednesday evening. The win was the first in the career of head coach Jeff Lafave. The Generals shot 55.2 percent in the first half, while holding the Wasps to just 25 percent shooting in mounting a 40-16 halftime advantage. Freshman forward Scott Hetterman led W&L with 13 points. He was joined in double-figures by senior forward Brian Ricketts, who tallied 12 points and seven rebounds. Senior guard Walt Plyler collected a game-high six assists. Emory & Henry was led by senior center David McManus, who totaled a game-high 16 points.
Senior forward Brian Ricketts is among the ODAC leaders in rebounding with an average of 8.6 rebounds per game through the first five games this season. At Middlebury on Nov. 23, Ricketts recorded a career-high 15 rebounds and he matched that effort with another 15-rebound performance on Nov. 28 at Bridgewater. His total of 43 rebounds on the season is just 45 away from his total of 88 all of last season.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS:
Senior center Scott Hudson and senior guard Walt Plyler are climbing the W&L career charts this season. Hudson is third in W&L history with 79 career blocks and Plyler is fifth all-time at W&L in career assists (246). Plyler can move into fourth place with two more assists.
The Generals' roster claims seven freshmen, many of whom are making immediate contributions on the court. Through its first five games, W&L has scored a total of 300 points, 101 of which have come from the freshman class. That's an average of 33.7 percent of the Generals' scoring. Toussaint Crawford leads the group with an average of 7.2 points per game.
AROUND THE ARC:
The Generals have defended the three-point arc well, allowing their opponents to shoot just 18.4 percent from beyond the arc (14-76). VWC is shooting 38.7 percent from beyond the arc and has taken 150 three-pointers on the season.