HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA-The Hampden-Sydney basketball team (16-8, 8-7) sent senior Colin O'Neill (Fort Leavenworth, KS/Leavenworth) out on the right note in his Fleet Gymnasium finale with a 73-61 win over Guilford College (16-8, 10-5). The win is the seventh straight victory for Hampden-Sydney, who will finish out the regular season at arch-rival and ninth-ranked Randolph-Macon College.
Though Hampden-Sydney started out with the first three points of the game on a Harrison George (Raleigh, NC/Leesville) lay up and free throw, a Brad Monroe lay up and five straight points from Josh Pittman gave the Quakers the early 7-3 lead.
A 6-0 Tiger run then reclaimed the lead with a 9-7 advantage. The two teams slowly traded baskets, and Guilford held a 17-15 advantage at the 6:22 mark. The lead was short lived, however, as a lay up from Ru White (Chesterfield, VA/L.C. Bird) and three straight triples from Ben Jessee (Midlothian, VA/Cosby), White and Randall Ward (Richmond, VA/John Marshall) gave the Tigers a nine point lead at 26-17.
Ward later hit another three to put the Tigers up 14, and Keegan Wetzel (Mebane, NC/Eastern Alamance) pushed the lead to 16. Pittman would score the final four points of the half to make it a 35-23 at half.
Guilford began the second half on a 4-0 run to cut the Tiger lead to 35-27. Hampden-Sydney responded by pushing it back to double digits, but the Quakers would not go away, making it a six point ball game at 45-39 at the 12:56 mark.
A Pittman three pointer made it a three point game, but Sasha Obradovic (Belgrade, Serbia/Hawaii Prep) responded with a triple of his own to push the lead back to six. Jessee added three more of his own to take the 51-42 advantage with 11:12 to play.
The Tigers controlled the several minutes, and a Fletcher Lumpkin (Richmond, VA/Mills Godwin) lay up at the 5:41 mark gave the Tigers a 60-48 lead.
Guilford would cut the Tiger lead to 10, but it would be as close as they would get with the Tigers connecting on all of their free throws to take the 73-61 win.
The Tigers were led in scoring by Jessee's 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. George added 16 points and nine rebounds, while White and Ward added 13 and 12 points, respectively. As a team, the Tigers were 49% (25-51) from the floor, 44% (11-25) from beyond the arc and a perfect 12-12 from the charity stripe. They also outrebounded the Quakers 34-28.
Guilford was led by Pittman's game-high 24 points, and Tobi Akinsola added ten points. Brad Monroe was also solid with eight points and 12 rebounds. The Quakers were 42.1% (24-57) from the floor, 38.5% (5-13) from three, and 66.7% (8-12) from the free throw line.
Hampden-Sydney will close out the regular season in Ashland, Virginia as it travels to face arch-rival and ninth-ranked Randolph-Macon College on Saturday, February 19. Tip-off is set for 2:00 pm.