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Tigers' Second Half Comeback Falls Short, 86-80 to R-MC

Ben Jessee

ASHLAND, VA-The Hampden-Sydney Tigers overcame an 11 point deficit with 14:54 to play to tie the game at 69-69 at the 4:30 mark, but Randolph-Macon proved to be too much taking the final lead of the game and holding on for the 86-80 victory in Crenshaw Gymnasium. With the loss, Hampden-Sydney falls to 13-4 overall and 7-2 in ODAC play while the Yellow Jackets  improve to 15-3 on the year and 8-2 in conference.

Senior guard Ben Jessee (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) led the Tigers with 17 points while hitting four of his seven three point attempts. Cam Anderson (Charlottesville, VA/Blue Ridge) and Sasha Obradovic (Belgrade, Serbia/Hawaii Prep) were solid off the bench, scoring 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Ru White (Chesterfield, VA/L.C. Bird), Harrison George (Raleigh, NC/Leesville) and Khobi Williamson (Norfolk, VA/Maury) each scored nine points while combining for 18 rebounds.

Andre Simon led all scorers with 18 points while connecting on 12 of his 14 free throw attempts. Simon also added a game-high eight rebounds. Lamar Giggetts poured in 15 points, and Calvin Crosky and Adam Desgain each added 14 points. Akeem Holmes scored 10 points for the Jackets off the bench.

The game started off in a back-and-forth battle with four lead changes in the first five minutes. Randolph-Macon was the first to pull away with a four point lead, but a triple from Jessee at the 11:16 mark tied the game at 16-16.

After each team had a slight advantage, the game was tied again - this time at 23-23 - 12 minutes into the game.

Randolph-Macon used a 13-4 run to take a 36-27 advantage before half, but White had the final bucket of the half with a lay up at the buzzer to pull the Tigers within seven at intermission.

The Tigers came out in the second half on a 7-0 run to tie the game at 36-36 just over a minute into the half. Randolph-Macon responded, however, with a 15-4 run to take an 11 point lead at the 14:54 mark.

The teams traded baskets, but the Tigers slowly chipped away at the double digit deficit. An Obradovic jumper at the 10:45 mark put the Tigers within four at 59-55, but Desgain fired right back with a triple to make it a seven point game. The Tigers then scored four straight to pull within three points at 62-59.

After another Desgain three put R-MC up 69-61, the Tigers scored eight unanswered points to tie the game at 69-69 with four and a half minutes remaining. Randolph-Macon hit a three to reclaim the lead, but the Tigers twice pulled within one courtesy George buckets.

Eight straight points from the Jackets gave them an 82-73 advantage with just over a minute to play. Jessee then hit three free throws, and Ru White scored after a Macon turnover to come within four at 82-78.

On the other end, Trent Walked converted on one of two from the line to go up five, but Obradovic's jumper brought Hampden-Sydney back within three. The Jackets would convert from the foul line and held the Tigers scoreless to take the 86-80 victory.

As a team, Hampden-Sydney was 28-of-64 (43.8%) from the floor, 8-of-19 (42.1%) from beyond the arc, and 16-of-21 (76.2%) from the free throw line. The team snared 37 boards to Randolph-Macon's 32 but turned it over 15 times to the Jackets' 13.

Randolph-Macon was 28-of-54 (51.9%) from the floor, 7-of-16 (43.8%) from three and 23-of-29 (79.3%) from the foul line.

Hampden-Sydney returns to action Wednesday, January 25 as it travels to face Lynchburg College. Tip-off is set for 7:00 pm.

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