Tigers Dominate Home Opener, 108-65 Over EMU

HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA-The Hampden-Sydney basketball team looked sharp in its home opener with a 108-65 win over ODAC-foe Eastern Mennonite University. With the win, the Tigers improve to 4-2 overall and 1-0 in ODAC play. The Royals, however, drop to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the conference.

Junior forward Harrison George (Raleigh, NC/Leesville) led all scorers with 26 points on 11-of-12 shooting. He added 12 rebounds for his 14th career double-double. George was not the only Tiger that was red hot as the team shot 61.3% (38-62) from the floor and 58.8% (10-17) from three.

Though Eastern Mennonite scored the first basket, the Tigers came right back with back-to-back three pointers from senior Ben Jessee (Midlothian, VA/Cosby). Randall Ward (Richmond, VA/John Marshall) then chimed in from deep to put the Tigers up 9-2. Hampden-Sydney managed three more points before the Royals stopped the run with an R.J. Sims bucket at the 16:07 mark.

After Sims connected on a free throw to make it a 12-5 game, freshman Cam Anderson (Charlottesville, VA/Blue Ridge) threw down a dunk to go up 14-5.

As the Tigers tried to pull away, the Royals continued to hang around, and a Dajon Daniel lay up at the 12:16 mark made it a six point Tiger lead at 19-13.

A Khobi Williamson (Norfolk, VA/Maury) dunk and Jess triple, though, again made it a double-digit lead at 24-13. Just as the Royals cut it to eight, Ward drained another three to go up 27-16 with 9:28 remaining in the half.

George later threw down a dunk of his own to push the lead to 15 at 35-20. Two minutes later, Leon Hargrove (Raleigh, NC/Middle Creek) converted a lay up to go up 40-23. During that time, Hampden-Sydney took off on a 16-3 run, taking a 51-26 advantage with 2:39 left in the half.

The teams traded baskets, but EMU's David Falk had the last bucket of the half, and his three pointer made it a 54-31 game in favor of Hampden-Sydney at intermission.

Hampden-Sydney took off in the second half, taking the first six minutes to go on a 19-3 run that included 10 points from George.

After Andrew Throne scored to end the run and make it a 73-36 game, the Tigers shot off again with a 7-0 run to go up 80-36 with just under 13 minutes to play. Eastern Mennonite responded with five straight points, but Hampden-Sydney fired right back with a 10-4 run capped off with a Fletcher Lumpkin (Richmond, VA/Mills Godwin) lay up.

Eastern Mennonite came alive with an 11-4 run of its own, and a Ryan Yates lay up made it 94-56 with just under five minutes. About a minute later, a lay up and the free throw from Sasha Obradovic (Belgrade, Serbia/Hawaii Prep) gave the Tigers a 99-58 lead.

Freshman Alex Smith (Whitsett, NC/T. Wingate Andrews) then hit a free throw to put the Tigers in triple digits with a 100-60 lead.

Freshman Kodie Critzer (Charlottesville, VA/St. Anne's-Belfield) gave the Tigers their final points of the day with a dunk inside the last minute.

Along with George, Jessee and Ward each scored in double figures with 16 and 13 points, respectively. Jessee was 6-of-11 from the floor and 4-of-7 from deep, while Ward was a perfect 4-for-4 - all threes. Williamson just missed a double-double with eight points on 4-of-6 shooting and 11 rebounds. Lewis also added eight points off the bench, and Anderson notched seven points and seven rebounds.

The Tigers snared 55 boards to Eastern Mennonite's 28. They also forced 27 turnovers, but committed 35.

Eastern Mennonite was 33.8% from the floor on 23-of-68 shooting and 20% from beyond the arc hitting three of their 15 attempts. The Royals were led by Yates' 18 points. Sims also scored in double figures with 10 points.

Hampden-Sydney will remain home and return to action Saturday, December 3 as it hosts the Panthers of Ferrum College. Tip-off is set for 2:00 pm.