MONTGOMERY, AL - The #23 Hampden-Sydney basketball team opened its season with a bang, taking down LaGrange College 99-86 in the Huntingdon College Classic.
LaGrange opened up the game making one of two technical fouls before the tio-off, but H-SC won the tip and Khobi Williamson (Virginia Beach, VA/Maury) jammed home a basket just five seconds in to the contest. LaGrange's Joey Aderkavich scored a layup at the 18:41 mark, but a Ru White (Chesterfield, VA/Allegany) trifecta six seconds later but the Tigers up by two, a lead they would not relinquish for the remainder of the half. Two straight Randall Ward (Richmond, VA/John Marshall) three pointers in less than a minute pushed the lead out to eight for the Tigers.
H-SC built a 10 point lead less than three minutes into the contest as a LaGrange free throw was followed by a Ben Jessee (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) three pointer. After a LaGrange timeout, a Greg Lewis (Mechanicsville, VA/Hanover) layup at 13:49 made it a 12-point contest. The timeout proved to swing the game as LaGrange went on a 12-2 run after the timeout to make it a two-point game with 10:40 left in the half. The Tigers fought back and a Jessee dunk quelled the rally and Hampden-Sydney led by nine just two minutes later.
With H-SC still holding on to a nine-point margin (33-24) with 7:27 remaining in the stanza, the Tigers went on a 13-0 run to build a 22-point lead. Up by 21 with 51 seconds before halftime, Peter Munch nailed a shot from deep range along with a layup to make it a 51-35 game going in to intermission.
Aaron Power opened the half with a trey and a jumper sandiwched around a Williamson free throw to cut the lead to 12 on a 9-1 run two minutes in to the half. The H-SC lead continued to fluctuate around 12-13 points for several minutes, but five points from Harrison George (Raleigh, NC/Leesville) and an Alex Smith (Whitsett, NC/T. Wingate Andrews) free throw put the lead back to 19 at the 14:30 mark. H-SC led by a comfortable margin of 18-20+ points until less than six minutes to go.
Marcus Vaughn went on to score seven of the next eight points over two minutes to make it a 12-points game and forcing a Tiger timeout with 4:49 left in the game. Fletcher Lumpkin (Richmond, VA/Mills Godwin) answered with a jumper coming out of the TO to push the lead back to 14, 89-75. However, LaGrange went on a 7-2 run made it just a nine-point contest with two minutes left. However, H-SC closed out the game strong, going 4-4 from the charity stripe along with dunks from Cam Anderson (Charlottesville, VA/Blue Ridge) and White.
George finished the game with 19 points and eight rebounds in just 17 minutes, and Williamson posted 15 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks in only 19 minutes. Jessee scored 17 points, and White had 14, three assists, and three steals. Ward contributed with 12, three assists, and two steals. Patrick Corrigan (Richmond, VA/Collegiate) tacked on a game-high five helpers.
The Tigers outshot LaGrange 58.6% to 47.5%, including a blistering 68.2% in the second-half. H-SC also converted six of their 16 three point attempts with all makes coming in the first stanza. The Tigers also held an advantage at the free throw line, making 25-of-30 compared to 20-of-29 for LaGrange. Hampden-Sydney outrebounded its opponent 38-26 but committed 25 turnovers to 21 for LaGrange. H-SC recorded six blocks and also made 16 thefts. Each team thrived off forced turnovers, with H-SC registering 31 points off turnovers while LaGrange had 27. The Tigers dominated in the paint, holding a 57-42 advantage in points in the paint.
H-SC will play host Huntingdon tomorrow at 2 p.m. Live Stats can be found here. Huntingdon lost its matchup with Concordia College (AL) 87-82 in the nightcap.