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O'Neill, Tigers Down Randolph 71-61

Colin Oneill

HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA-Senior forward Colin O'Neill (Leavenworth, KS/Fort Leavenworth) was nearly flawless on the offensive end shooting 8-of-9 from the floor for a career-high 21 points in the Tigers' 71-61 win over Randolph College (11-4, 7-3) in Fleet Gymnasium. Hampden-Sydney snapped a four-game win streak for the red-hot Wildcats.

Though it was Randolph's Colton Hunt to put the first two points on the board, Hampden-Sydney quickly responded, and O'Neill rattled off five straight points to take the early 5-2 lead. Randolph stayed in the game, and a Pete Hamilton triple at the 14:17 mark put Randolph within one at 11-10.

The Tigers then reeled off seven unanswered to take an 18-10 lead with 12:21 remaining in the half.

Hunt and the Wildcats would not go away, however, and Hunt scored seven of Randolph's nine points in a 9-0 run to take the lead at 19-18.

A triple from Harrison George (Raleigh, NC/Leesville) reclaimed the Tiger lead. They continued to push, and junior Ben Jessee (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) knocked down a jumper at the 5:56 mark to take a 29-22 lead.

Randolph crawled back again, and Malcolm Nelson cut it to a two point game with just over three minutes remaining in the half. Randall Ward (Richmond, VA/John Marshall) put the Tigers back up four with a minute remaining, but Caleb Pearson fired right back with a three ball to make it 35-34 in favor of Hampden-Sydney.

George scored the last bucket of the half, though, giving the Tigers a 37-34 cushion at the half.

The Tigers' used the first four minutes of the second stanza to take a six point lead on an Alex Potapov (Moscow, Russia/Florida Air) lay up, but after a three minute scoring drought from both teams, Hunt scored five straight to again make it a one point game at 46-45 with just under 12 and a half minutes.

The two teams traded baskets, but the Tigers exploded for a 6-0 run to take a 57-49 lead at the 7:32 mark.

Randolph still hung around, again cutting the lead to four on two Hamilton free throws. Ward pushed it back to seven by responded with a triple at the 5:34 mark. It went back and forth between a five and seven point margin until two Hunt free throws put the Wildcats within three at 62-59 with just over one and a half minutes to play.

Patrick Corrigan (Richmond, VA/Collegiate) then hit the dagger from beyond the arc to take a six point lead with 1:03 remaining. The Tigers were then able to close out the game from the charity stripe taking the ten point victory.

O'Neill was the leading scorer with a game-high 21 points, but George was not far behind with 16 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Ward added nine points to go with five assists and zero turnovers. As a team, Hampden-Sydney was 24-of-47 (51.1%) from the floor, 5-of-18 (27.8%) from beyond the arc, and 18-of-24 (75%) from the foul line. They also out rebounded Randolph 28-26.

Randolph, which was 22-of-49 (44.9%) from the floor, was led by Hunt's 19 points. Derrick Woods-Morrow was also solid with 10 points.

Hampden-Sydney remains at home, as they will host Bridgewater College on Wednesday, February 2. Tip-off is set for 7:00 pm.