Tigers Down Roanoke 87-72 in ODAC Bout

HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA-Hampden-Sydney remains perfect at home while capturing its first Old Dominion Athletic Conference contest with its 87-72 win over rival Roanoke College. The Tigers came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, as they scored 45 first half points on 57.7% (15-of-26) accuracy from the floor and 70.0% (7-of-10) shooting from beyond the arc. The Tigers had three high scorers with Harrison George (Raleigh, NC/Leesville) scoring a game-high 24 points, Ben Jessee (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) pouring in 21 on 7-of-9 shooting, and Ru White (Chesterfield, VA/L.C. Bird) scoring 19 points. George also recorded a double-double with 13 rebounds.

Though Roanoke jumped ahead 3-1, Hampden-Sydney responded with a 9-0 run and two Jessee free throws put the Tigers up 9-3 two and a half minutes into the game. Hampden-Sydney made all efforts to retain its lead, but the Maroons continued to stay in the game.

Roanoke slowly cut their deficit, and back-to-back and-one layups tied the game at 16-16 at the 9:28 mark. After traded baskets kept the game tied, Hampden-Sydney again made a run - this time 10-2 - to retake the lead with an eight point cushion.

The Maroons again cut into the lead, making it a three point game, but a jumper from Jessee put the Tigers back up five at 31-26 with 4:28 remaining in the half.

Minutes later, Jessee and George connected on three pointers to give the Tigers their biggest lead of the half at 41-32. Roanoke, however, outscored the Tigers 7-4 in the final minutes to go into halftime down 45-39.

Hampden-Sydney started the second half by extending its lead to eight, but Roanoke would not go away. Matt Crizer connected on a lay up at the 15:35 mark to make it a 51-47 game in favor of the Tigers. Three minutes later, Roanoke tied the game at 51-51 on a Jack Hamilton triple.

The Tigers again responded, however, going on an 11-4 run capped off by a White lay up to take a 62-55 advantage with just under ten minutes to play.

The back-and-forth play continued as Roanoke made a 6-0 run of its own to make it a one point game at the 8:58 mark. A George lay up stopped the run, but Clay Lacy came right back with a basket of his own to cut it back to one at 64-63.

That would be as close as Roanoke would get, as a Colin O'Neill (Fort Leavenworth, KS/Leavenworth) lay up sparked a 9-0 Tiger run to push the lead to double-digits at 73-63 with just over four minutes to play.

Roanoke came as close as eight points when Terrell Johnson hit a jumper at the 3:22 mark to make it a 75-67 game.

Hampden-Sydney, however, allowed just five points over the final 3:22 of the game while putting 12 points on the board with the last nine coming from the free throw line.

With the win, Hampden-Sydney improves to 8-4 on the year and 6-0 at home while Roanoke falls to 5-6 overall. On the day, Hampden-Sydney was 24-of-52 (46.2%) from the field and 9-of-20 (45.0%) from beyond the arc. The also dominated the boards, out rebounding Roanoke 47-27.

Roanoke had five players score in double figures and were led by Melvin Felix and Matt Crizer who each netted 13 points.

Hampden-Sydney returns to action this Wednesday, January 12 as they travel to face the Hornets of Lynchburg College. Tip-off is set for 7:00 pm.