HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA-Junior forward Harrison George (Raleigh, NC/Leesville) recorded a double-double of 25 points and 10 rebounds and three other Tigers scored in double figures, but it was not enough as #2 Virginia Wesleyan took a 100-80 decision in Fleet Gymnasium. With the loss, the Tigers drop to 9-3 overall and 3-1 in ODAC play while the Marlins improve to 10-1 overall and 4-0 in the conference.
The first four minutes of the game were back and forth with four ties, including when Virginia Wesleyan's Chris Astorga tied it at 8-8 at the 15:10 mark.
Ru White (Chesterfield, VA/L.C. Bird) soon tied the game again at 18-18, but the Marlins went off on a 7-2 run to take a 27-20 lead with just over seven minutes in the half. Six points from George and Ben Jessee (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) split by a Donald Vaughn jumper, though, put the Tigers within three.
Virginia Wesleyan would make another run to push its lead to 40-30 with 3:01 to play in the half. Though the Tigers cut the deficit to seven on a White lay up, the Marlins pushed its lead to 14 for a 48-34 halftime advantage.
The Tigers gave up a three pointer to start the half to trail by 17, but a burst of energy propelled the Tigers on a 9-0 run to pull within eight at 51-43. The Tigers kept the gap around 10 points for several minutes, but a D.J. Woodmore triple at the 13:45 mark put the Marlins up 64-49.
A jumper from Williamson at the 10:41 mark put the Tigers within 11, but it was as close as the Tigers would come. Virginia Wesleyan slowly built its lead to 20 with five minutes to play and maintained it for the 100-80 decision.
George was 8-of-20 from the floor en route to his 25 points while Williamson scored 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Jessee and White added 14 and 11 points, respectively, and each snared four boards. As a team, the Tigers were 28-of-63 (44.4%) from the floor, 5-of-13 (38.5%) from three and 19-of-25 (76.0%) from the foul line. They were out rebounded 41-38.
The Marlins were led by Woodmore's 23 points and 10 rebounds. Vaughn also recorded a double-double with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Astorga and Art Crew added 16 and 11 points. Virginia Wesleyan was 39-of-74 (52.7%) from the field, 5-of-14 (35.7%) from three and 17-of-24 (70.8%) from the charity stripe.
Hampden-Sydney returns to action Saturday, January 7, as it travels to Roanoke College. Tip-off is set for 2:00 pm.