ELON, NC-Hampden-Sydney took its first loss of the season as it fell 76-56 to Division I opponent Elon University. Despite having a tough shooting night, Hampden-Sydney's Ru White (Chesterfield, VA/L.C. Bird) had his best game in a Tiger uniform, leading the team with 19 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. He did so efficiently too, connecting on 8-of-13 shooting. With the loss, the Tigers fall to 2-1 while Elon improves to 2-2.
The Tigers' started out on the offensive, as sophomore Harrison George (Raleigh, NC/Leesville) layed the ball in for the early 2-0 lead. Elon responded, however, with two quick threes and a lay up for the 8-2 lead. White stopped the run with a lay up of his own at the 17:47 mark.
After a couple of traded baskets, the Phoenix used the next four minutes to score nine unanswered points taking a 19-6 lead. White again stopped the run with a free throw, followed by a Khobi Williamson (Norfolk, VA/Maury) lay up to cut the Tiger deficit to 19-9.
A Drew Spraldin three put Elon up 24-9, but White and George again responded with back-to-back jumpers making it an 11 point game. Spraldin hit two free throws to make it a 26-13 game at the 9:43 mark, but both teams hit a scoring drought that lasted until Elon's Scott Grable connected on a lay up with just under seven and a half minutes left in the half.
The Phoenix used its size to hinder many Tiger shot attempts and control the rebounds. They held their own defensively over the final minutes of the half, though, but were outscored 12-6 trailing 40-19 at half.
As the teams began the second half, White continued to be the Tigers' main offensive weapon of the night, scoring both of Hampden-Sydney's two buckets in the first five minutes. His second field goal stopped an 8-0 run and cut the lead to 48-23.
Elon would extend its lead to as much as 35, but consecutive lay ups from Patrick Corrigan (Richmond, VA/Collegiate) and White followed by a spurt of three straight field goals from Ben Jessee (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) cut the Phoenix lead to 64-40.
Elon began to pull away, but the Tigers used the final three minutes to reel off a 16-6 run, including six points each from White and Keegan Wetzel (Mebane, NC/Eastern Alamance).
White led the way with 19 points, and George added nine. Jessee, Wetzel and Alex Potapov (Moscow, Russia/Florida Air) each added six points. As a team, Hampden-Sydney shot 36.5% from the field (23-63).
Elon was led by Spraldin who netted 14 points while Lucas Troutman scored 12. The Phoenix shot 41.2% (28-68) from the floor and out rebounded the Tigers 54-41.
Hampden-Sydney returns to action Saturday, November 27 as the team travels to face Shenandoah University in the first game of the South Region Hoops Challenge. Tip-off is set for 6:00 pm.