#23 Tiger Basketball Opens South Region Hoops Challenge with 89-67 Win

FREDERICKSBURG, VA-#23 Hampden-Sydney basketball opened the Fourth Annual South Region Hoops Challenge with an 89-67 win over Shenandoah at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. With the win, Hampden-Sydney improves to 3-1 on the young season while the Hornets fall to 0-3.

Though Shenandoah got off to the early 8-3 lead with a James Bowens jumper at the 18:02 mark, senior guard Ben Jessee (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) hit a three just over two minutes later to give the Tigers a 12-10 advantage. After Leon Hargrove (Raleigh, NC/Middle Creek) pushed the lead to 15-10, Nick Brown responded with a trey to cut the lead to two.

A three from Sasha Obradovic (Belgrade, Serbia/Hawaii Prep) and back-to-back lay ups from Alex Potapov (Moscow, Russia/Florida Air) gave Hampden-Sydney a 22-13 lead with 12:38 to play in the half.

The Hornets continued to hang around, however, and two free throws from Bryce Mitchell put Shenandoah within four at 25-21. After traded baskets, a lay up and free throw from Alex Smith (Whitsett, NC/T. Wingate Andrews) put the Tigers up 30-23 with just under five minutes in the half.

Hampden-Sydney was able to push the lead to eight courtesy two free throws from Jessee, but Nick Brown had the final bucket of the half to make it a 38-32 Tiger advantage heading into intermission.

The Tigers jumped out to a quick advantage in the second half, and Ru White (Chesterfield, VA/L.C. Bird) put them up 42-33 just one minutes into the half. Less than four minutes later, Randall Ward (Richmond, VA/John Marshall) gave Hampden-Sydney its first double digit lead when his lay up and free throw made it a 48-36 game.

Shenandoah connected on two free throws, but the Tigers ran out to a quick 7-0 run to hold a 56-38 lead with 13:20 remaining. One minute later, back-to-back lay ups from Fletcher Lumpkin (Richmond, VA/Mills Godwin) and Jessee put the Tigers up 50-39.

At the 9:17 mark Kodie Critzer (Charlottesville, VA/St. Anne's-Belfield) extended the lead even further, and his lay up made it a 55-33 game.

After White jammed home two points in traffic, Lewis put the Tigers up 25 as his trifecta made the score 75-49 in favor of Hampden-Sydney.

Xavier Alston was able to cut into the lead and make it a 22 point game with 6:20 to play, but the Tigers continued to pour it on and two foul shots from Potapov put the Tigers back up 27 at 80-53 with 5:24 remaining.

The Tigers twice pushed their lead back to 27 in the final minutes, but Shenandoah was able to outscore Hampden-Sydney 10-5 in the final 2:42 to fall 89-67.

Hampden-Sydney was led by Jessee and Williamson who scored 15 and 14 points, respectively. Jessee was 4-of-9 from the floor, 1-of-5 from three, and a perfect 6-of-6 from the line. Williamson was 6-of-11 from the field and 2-of-5 from the charity stripe; he also added a game-high eight rebounds. Potapov was very productive off the bench, scoring 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting in 14 minutes. Greg Lewis (Mechanicsville, VA/Hanover) added seven points, and White chimed in with six points and four rebounds.

As a team, Hampden-Sydney was 31-of-63 (49.2%) from the floor, 4-of-21 (19.0%) from three, and 23-of-41 (56.1%) from the foul line. The Tigers also outrebounded Shenandoah 42 to 31. Hampden-Sydney dished out 13 assists while turning it over 19 times, but caused 29 turnovers with 14 steals.

Shenandoah was led by Brown and Avery Green who each scored 11 points. Bowens and Alston scored eight and seven points, respectively. The Hornets shot 48.9% (23-47) from the field, 45.5% (5-11) from three and 53.3% (16-30) from the free throw line.

Hampden-Sydney will return to action tomorrow, November 27, as it faces the Battling Bishops of North Carolina Wesleyan at the University of Mary Washington in the South Region Hoops Challenge.