HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA-The Hampden-Sydney Tigers advance to the Championship game of the Car Coop/Weenie Miller Holiday Hoops Tournament after defeating the Saints of Marymount University 62-57 in the first round of play. With the win the Tigers improve to 6-3 on the season. The Tigers were led in scoring and rebounding by sophomore Harrison George (Raleigh, NC/Leesville) who notched 17 points and seven rebounds. Ru White (Chesterfield, VA/L.C. Bird) and Ben Jessee (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) each added 12 points while Randall Ward (Richmond, VA/John Marshall) chimed in with 11 points.
Both teams had trouble finding the basket to start the game, as Marymount crept out to a 4-3 lead that lasted until the 13:55 mark. The Tiger defense quickly turned into offense, however, as Jessee connected on two transition lay ups to give the Tigers a 7-4 lead 30 seconds later.
Hampden-Sydney extended its lead, and a Colin O'Neill (Fort Leavenworth, KS/Leavenworth) lay up gave the Tigers a 15-8 lead with just over ten minutes remaining in the half. Back-to-back buckets from White and Alex Potapov (Moscow, Russia/Florida Air)pushed the lead out to 11, before Brian DeBruin's free throw at the 6:30 mark stopped the Saints' drought.
The teams continued to trade baskets, and after Marymount cut the lead to nine (26-17), White hit the final bucket of the half to give Hampden-Sydney a 28-17 halftime lead.
Hampden-Sydney started the second half on a nice 11-4 run over the first four minutes to go up 39-21, but Marymount was not daunted. The Saints were able to rally on an 11-2 run to bring the Tiger lead down to 41-32.
Ward stopped the run with a three, but Marymount was again able to cut it to nine at 46-37 after a Stephen Simoneau triple with 11:16 remaining. The Saints again slowly chipped away and cut it further to 51-45 at the 5:53 mark.
George responded, however, with four straight points to make it a double-digit lead agian. Marymount would chip away again, but it was too late as the Tigers held on for the 62-57 win.
As a team, the Tigers were 50.9% (27-53) from the floor but just 22.2% (4-18) from beyond the arc. They out rebounded the Saints 33-28 while pulling down 11 offensive boards.
Marymount was led by Simoneau's 20 points. As a team they were 43.1% (22-51) from the field and 55.6% (5-9) from three.
In the second game of the night Medaille defeated Urninus 75-70 to advance to the Championship.
Hampden-Sydney will face Medaille in the Championship at 4:00 pm while Marymount will play Ursinus at 2:00 pm in the consolation game.