Washington & Lee Athletics
LEXINGTON, Va. — Sophomore forward J.D. Ey scored a career-high 21 points and sophomore center Taylor Gilfillan posted his first career double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds as the Washington and Lee men’s basketball team knocked off No. 10 Eastern Mennonite 93-92 on Wednesday evening at the Warner Center.
Trailing by eight points, 71-63, with 11:08 left to play, W&L (10-2, 3-1 ODAC) used a 16-8 scoring run capped by a pair of free throws from senior guard Jason Cimino to tie the game for the sixth time (79-79) with 4:55 to play. Cimino then hit another pair of free throws at the 2:39 mark to give W&L its first lead (85-83) since the 10:00 mark of the first half.
EMU (9-2, 2-2) senior forward Eli Crawford had a chance to tie the contest on the ensuing possession, but his missed layup landed in the hands of Gilfillan, who was sent to the line where he split two free throws to put the Blue and White up 86-83 at the 1:51 mark.
Following a free throw from Royals’ senior guard Todd Phillips that trimmed the Generals’ lead to two points (86-84), each team traded missed field goals before Cimino chased down a long defensive rebound and raced down court where his feed to Ey led to a three-point play and an 89-84 lead with1:07 left.
W&L nearly let the Royals back in it with under a minute to play as the Generals connected on just 2-of-6 free throws and EMU received a pair of baskets and four free throws, including two tosses from Phillips with 9.6 seconds left to pull to within a single point, 93-92.
Following two W&L misses from the charity stripe with under seven seconds to play, a pass intended for Royals’ senior forward D.J. Hinson was wide of the mark and he was forced to heave a desperation shot from deep in the right corner while falling out of bounds.
For the Generals, this is the third season in a row that they have defeated a ranked opponent and the first time they have done so since a 65-57 win over then-No. 9 Randolph-Macon on Jan. 27, 2010.
In the first half, W&L hit 12 of its first 15 shots from the floor and held a 25-24 lead halfway through the opening period. EMU responded with a 17-9 run that gave the Royals a 41-34 lead with 4:08 to play before the Generals closed the opening period on a 10-5 run to go into the break trailing 46-44.
As a team, W&L shot 55.0 percent from the field (33-60) to 47.8 percent (32-67) for the Royals and the Generals also held a 44-30 advantage on the boards. The 93 points marked W&L’s highest scoring output since a 98-point outburst on Feb. 13, 2008 against Emory & Henry.
Ey, who made his first seven shots from the field, finished 9-of-11 from the field and 3-of-4 from the line in posting his first 20+ scoring game. Gilfillan, whose double-double included a career-high 12 rebounds, finished 4-of-8 from floor and 5-of-7 from the line.
Also for W&L, first-year forward Jonathan Rice tallied 13 points, sophomore forward Jeremy Adkins added 11 markers and junior guard Jon Guest chipped in 10 points. Cimino recorded a career-high 10 assists to go with eight points, five boards and a perfect 6-for-6 showing at the free-throw line.
For Eastern Mennonite, Philllips finished with a game-high 26 points to go with six rebounds. Senior guard George Johnson added 14 points, Hinson 12, sophomore forward Andrew Thorne chipped in 11 and Crawford rounded out EMU’s top scorers with 10 points, as well as a team-high seven boards.
W&L returns to action on Saturday when it travels to No. 3 Virginia Wesleyan for a 2:00 pm contest.