EMORY, VA - The #11 Hampden-Sydney Basketball team clinched a share of the regular season title on Saturday afternoon by defeating Emory & Henry College 82-61.
The Tigers conclude regular season play with a 22-3 overall record and a 14-2 mark in ODAC competition while Emory & Henry finishes 4-20 and 2-14 in the ODAC. H-SC will be slotted in as the #2 seed and will receive a first-round bye for the ODAC Tournament. Hampden-Sydney will play on Friday at 6 pm in the ODAC Tournament Quarterfinals against the winner of the #10 at #7 matchup, which is to be played on Tuesday at 7 pm.
The game was tight all throughout the first half with the largest lead any team had being five points. However, the Tigers grabbed the momentum in the final 30 seconds. Following a Charles Smith free throw, Emory & Henry led 34-32 at the 28 second mark. Kodie Critzer (Charlottesville, VA / St. Anne's-Belfield) then drained a three pointer with nine seconds to go, and a Leon Hargrove (Raleigh, NC / Middle Creek) steal with three seconds left led to a Harrison George (Raleigh, NC / Leesville Road) layup at the buzzer.
The ending of the first half proved to be a profound difference in the game as the Tigers came out of intermission with an offensive blitzkrieg. Khobi Williamson (Norfolk, VA / Maury) opened the stanza with a layup and H-SC followed it with a Critzer three pointer and a Hargrove dunk. George made one of two free-throws and the Tigers went from being down two with 28 seconds left in the first half to up 11 just 2:18 after intermission, a 13-0 run that used up only 2:46 of game time. The Wasps were able to trim the lead back down to single digits, 50-42, with 15:13 to go, but an 8-0 scoring burst from Critzer put the lead up to 16 and effectively ended the game as Emory & Henry trailed by 10+ the rest of the way.
George posted a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds while also adding on five assists. Critzer contributed team-highs of 17 points and three steals as he shot 5-9 from three point range. Williamson tacked on 14 points and six rebounds while missing just one shot from the field in a 7-8 performance. Keegan Wetzel (Mebane, NC / Eastern Alamance) scored nine points courtesy of a 3-3 performance from deep range.
Armando Murrell scored a game-high 18 points for the Wasps along with seven rebounds. Myles Turner scored 13 points and contributed seven caroms and three thefts. Charles Smith came off the bench to add on 12 points.
Hampden-Sydney shot 46.3% (31-67) overall, 47.8% (11-23) from three, and 56.2% (9-16) at the free throw line. Emory & Henry finished 38.9% (21-54) from the floor, 20% (4-20) from beyond three range, and 71.4% (15-21) at the charity stripe. The Tigers forced the Wasps into 20 turnovers and also outscored them 17-8 in second chance points.
The Tigers are off until Friday at the ODAC Tournament. Please visit the ODAC Tournament website here.