ASHLAND, VA - The Tigers trailed by as many as 19 points late in the first-half, but a furious rally led to a thrilling finish, but the Randolph-Macon Yellow Jackets won 61-60. The loss snaps a seven-game Tiger winning streak. The win gives R-MC the #2 seed for the ODAC Tournament while H-SC gets the sixth seed. The Tigers will host Emory & Henry on Tuesday in the first-round of the ODAC Tournament at 7 p.m. More details will be available at a later time.
Hampden-Sydney took the first lead of the game behind a Colin O'Neill (Fort Leavenworth, KS/Leavenworth) layup, but Randolph-Macon wasted no time taking control of the game and went on a 9-0 run to go up 9-2 at the 14:23 mark. H-Sc cut the lead down to three, 12-9, with 13 minutes remaining, but R-MC used an 8-0 spurt to go up by 11 with just under 10 minutes to go in the half. H-SC cut the lead down to nine, 26-17, at 7:16. However, Macon answered with another big run of 13-3 over the next three minutes to give them a 19-point lead at the 3:52 mark. The Tigers stepped up over the final four minutes by outscoring the Yellow Jackets 10-2 to go into halftime down 41-30.
The R-MC lead continued to hover around the double-digit mark the first three minutes of the second-half with the host team leading 47-36 with 17:16 remaining. The momentum shifted and the Tigers put together their own game-changing run, going on a 14-3 spurt to make it a tie ballgame with 7:52 left.
R-MC's Kevin Voelkel drained a jumper to put the Yellow Jackets up two, but Patrick Corrigan (Richmond, VA/Collegiate) drained a three pointer to put the Tigers up one at 6:25. Brandon Braxton contributed a two-point shot to put R-MC back up one, but Khobi Williamson (Norfolk, VA/Maury) scored a layup to put the Tigers ahead by one, 55-54 at the 5:07 mark. Macon's Lamar Giggets scored a layup at 4:03 to push them back ahead. With R-MC up three with just over three minutes remaining, Ben Jessee (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) converted a layup and a free throw to notch the game at 58-58 with just 2:13 to go.
Each team's defense proved to be stingy the rest of the game. No other team would score until there were only 59 ticks left on the clock, when Eric Pugh drilled a huge three-pointer to provide the Yellow Jackets a 61-58 advantage. Harrison George (Raleigh, NC/Leesville) answered with a layup 14 seconds later to cut the lead to one. Danny Jones went up for a layup at the 11 second mark, but Fletcher Lumpkin (Richmond, VA/Mills Godwin) turned back the shot. Jones got the offensive board and was fouled by Lumpkin with 10 seconds remaining. Jones uncharacteristically missed both free throw attempts and George corralled the rebound. With a foul to give, Jordan Brown committed a foul at five seconds, and then Jessee missed the game-winning three pointer as time expired.
George was the lone Tiger to score in double figures as he scored 25 points, shooting 10-18 overall, 2-5 from three, and 3-4 from the free throw line. He also grabbed 10 rebounds, seven on the offensive end, for the double-double. Jessee posted nine points and two steals.
Calvin Croskey led Randolph-Macon with 13 points off the bench, draining four of his six trifectas. Pugh also tallied 10 points while Jordan Brown had a solid overall game, contributing seven points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals, and one block.
Hampden-Sydney outrebounded Randolph-Macon 34-25, grabbing 13 offensive boards to just six for the host team, giving the visitors an 18-2 advantage in second chance points. R-MC commited just six turnovers compared to 11 for H-SC. The Tigers shot 40% from the floor and 22% from three while going 14-17 at the charity stripe. The Yellow Jackets converted 48% of their shots and 36% of their three pointers but went just 7-13 from the free throw line.
Hampden-Sydney, the #6 seed for the ODAC Tournament, will host #11 seed Emory & Henry on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Additional details on the game will be forthcoming. The Tigers defeated Emory & Henry 87-77 in Emory, VA, on February 5. The winner will face the #3 seed Eastern Mennonite in Salem, VA, on Friday.