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Tiger Hoops Opens Season with 75-64 Win Over Methodist

HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA-The Hampden-Sydney Tigers advance to the championship game of the Roundball Club Tip-Off Tournament after defeating first night opponent Methodist University 75-64. The Tigers were paced by sophomore sensation Harrison George (Raleigh, NC/Leesville) who netted 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting while pulling down a game-high nine rebounds. With the win, Hampden-Sydney kicks off 2010-11 with a 1-0 record.

The Tigers started off with a bang when newcomer Ru White (Chesterfield, VA/L.C. Bird) slammed home the first basket of the season with a dunk to give the Tigers' the early 2-0 lead. The Monarchs answered, however, with a 16-4 run over the next five minutes, but a Randall Ward (Richmond, VA/John Marshall) three-pointer gave the Tigers the boost they needed.

Once Ward cut the deficit to 16-9, freshman Khobi Williamson (Norfolk, VA/Maury) started his career in style with a thunderous alley-oop to make it a 16-11 game. Consecutive George jumpers put the Tigers within one.

Freshman Jack Sumner (Gastonia, NC/Forestview) hit two free throws to reclaim the Tiger lead at 17-16 with 13:16 in the first half. Hampden-Sydney continued the run, and led 28-19 after a Ben Jessee (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) layup.

The Monarchs were down, but certainly not out as they sparked a run of their own, and a Mark Jernigan free throw made it a 31-25 game in favor of the Tigers. A basket and free throw from George, though, pushed it back to a nine point game.

Jernigan and George then traded free throws give the Tigers a 35-26 edge at the half.

Neither team could make a run in the second half, and Methodist continued to hang in the game. Jessee hit a three at the 13:41 mark to take a 45-35 lead, but the Tigers hit a scoring drought that allowed Methodist to make a 14-4 run over a five minute span to tie the game at 49-49. 

Two free throws from White ended the run, and White countered again with a lay up to make it a 53-49 game. A Jessee three, followed by free throws from Williamson, Ward and a lay up from Alex Potapov (Moscow, Russia/Florida Air) gave the Tigers a 61-51 lead.

Methodist would still not go away, however, keeping it a ten point game. The Tigers then scored six unanswered to all but put the game away with a 72-56 lead with just 1:43 to play.

Hampden-Sydney was able to finish the game clinching its season opener 75-64.

On the night, George led the way with 20 points and nine rebounds, while Ward poured in 17 going five-for-seven from the field and three-for-five from beyond the arc. Jessee was the third double-digit scorer with 12 points. White finished the night with eight points while Williamson pulled down eight caroms to go with five points.

As a team, the Tigers shot 45.3% from the field, 31.6% from beyond the arc and 70% from the free throw line. The Tigers dominated the boards out rebounding Methodist 43-31.

In the second game, UVA-Wise defeated Farmingdale St. 84-76. 

Hampden-Sydney will play UVA-Wise tomorrow in the championship game at 4:00 pm. Methodist will play Farmingdale St. in the consolation game at 2:00 pm.