VIRGINIA BEACH, VA-Hampden-Sydney came close to upsetting undefeated and third-ranked Virginia Wesleyan (13-0, 4-0) but fell just short as they took a 69-61 loss. Sophomore Harrison George (Raleigh, NC/Leesville) led all scorers with an impressive 27 points on 11-20 shooting to go with eight rebounds.
Despite falling to a quick 9-2 deficit, George and Ru White (Chesterfield, VA/L.C. Bird) reeled off five straight points to cut the Marlin lead to two. The teams battled and a George lay up put the Tigers one point closer, as they trailed 14-13 at the 10:20 mark.
Neither team could gain an advantage until White tied the game at 21-21 on a jumper with 5:28 to play in the half. Two minutes later, White canned two free throws to take the Tigers' first lead of the night at 23-21.
Virginia Wesleyan reclaimed the lead and Ed Roberts' triple put the Marlins up 29-25. George then scored six of the last seven points of the half, however, to give the Tigers a 32-29 halftime lead.
After the Marlins tied the game, the teams traded baskets until Ed Roberts hit another three to put his squad up 43-39. The lead was slowly extended, and it was a six point game at the 11:29 mark. Sophomores Patrick Corrigan (Richmond, VA/Collegiate) and George then scored 11 points while tying the game at 53-53 with just under seven minutes remaining.
The Marlins reclaimed the lead and pushed it to six, before a foul shot from White and a three by Ben Jessee (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) made it a two point game at 59-57 with 3:57 to play.
Down the stretch, Virginia Wesleyan hit two big back-to-back threes that proved to be too much for the Tigers.
To go with George's 27 points, White scored 12 points on 4-9 shooting and Corrigan added 11 on 4-8 accuracy. White and Colin O'Neill (Fort Leavenworth, KS/Leavenworth) each snared eight rebounds. The team shot 46.9% (23-49) from the floor and 30.8% (4-13) from beyond the arc. They also out rebounded the Marlins 36-32.
Virginia Wesleyan was led by Ed Roberts who scored 16 points. D.J. Woodmore and Chris Astorga each scored 12 points.
Hampden-Sydney (7-4, 0-3) returns home this Saturday as it hosts Roanoke College. Tip-off is set for 2:00 pm.