WINCHESTER, VA-Hampden-Sydney exploded for 99 points to defeat the Battling Bishops of North Carolina Wesleyan 99-85 to sweep the South Region Hoops Challenge. In the effort, sophomore sensation Harrison George (Raleigh, NC/Leesville) poured in a career-high 34 points and classmate Alex Potapov (Moscow, Russia/Florida Air) had one of his best games in a Tiger uniform, tying his career-high with 14 points. With the win, Hampden-Sydney improves to 4-1 on the year while North Carolina Wesleyan falls to 3-3.
George got a good portion of his work done early, teaming up with Ru White (Chesterfield, VA/L.C. Bird) to score 17 of the team's first 19 points. Matt Dougherty kept the Bishops in the game, however, scoring eight of their 12 points as his jumper at the 14:52 mark made it 19-12 in favor of the Tigers.
Potapov and Patrick Corrigan (Richmond, VA/Collegiate) got in the mix and back-to-back jumpers put the Tiger lead up to 23-14. A 7-2 Bishop run, however, cut the lead to four at 25-21 with 9:32 remaining in the half.
After Colin O'Neill (Fort Leavenworth, KS/Leavenworth) stopped the run with a lay up, he sparked a 12-5 run in favor of Hampden-Sydney that pushed the lead to 35-24 with 5:24 in the half.
Hampden-Sydney would extend its first half lead to as much as 16 on a Potapov lay up, but the Bishops were able to trim their deficit to 10 - down 46-36 - at the half.
North Carolina Wesleyan came out in the second half a new team, using the first three minutes of the stanza to make it a one point game at 48-47. That's as close as they would get, though, with Hampden-Sydney reeling off seven unanswered points to go up 55-47 on a Randall Ward (Richmond, VA/John Marshall) free throw.
The teams continued to trade baskets, and a Corrigan triple at the 10:38 mark again made it a double-digit Tiger lead at 69-59. Hampden-Sydney continued to slowly extend its lead, and George gave the Tigers their biggest lead of the day at 84-65 with a lay up.
With 3:30 remaining, Darius Thomas connected on a jump shot that cut the Tiger lead to 13, but Keegan Wetzel (Mebane, NC/Eastern Alamance) responded right away with a lay up on the other end.
Hampden-Sydney continued to thwart the efforts of any come back over the final three minutes to take home the 99-85 lead.
George led all scorers with 34 points, while four other Tigers scored in double figures. Potapov scored 14, White scored 12, and Jessee and Ward each had ten. White and George also led the team with six rebounds each. As a team, the Tigers were 33-63 (57.1%) from the floor, 7-20 (35.0%) from three, and 20-30 (66.7%) from the charity stripe. Each team pulled down 36 rebounds.
Thomas led the way for the Bishops with 25 points, and Dougherty came in with 19 points. They shot 50.7% from the floor via 34-67 shooting.
Hampden-Sydney returns to action this Wednesday, December 1 as it travels to Harrisonburg, VA to face ODAC-foe Eastern Mennonite. Tip-off is set for 7:00 pm.