HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, Va. — Hampden-Sydney recorded its fifth consecutive victory and second in a row over a top-25 team, defeating No. 6 Virginia Wesleyan 80-71 in Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) action at Fleet Gymnasium.
The Tigers set the tone from tipoff, playing sound defense while taking advantage of their size on the inside. H-SC raced out to a 14-1 lead at the 13:10 mark, holding VWC to an 0 of 8 shooting performance in the run.
The Tigers continued to lead by double digits, leading 18-8 at the 11:09 mark, but the Marlins went on an 11-0 run to go up 19-18 with 7:08 remaining in the first-half, forcing five Tigers turnovers. Hampden-Sydney took the lead back a minute later and built it back up to as many as nine, but a critical third foul whistled on Donald Vaughn, the leading shot blocker in the ODAC, with 5:40 left in the opening period would foreshadow things to come in the second-half.
Harrison George put the Tigers up seven on the first H-SC possession of the half as he drained a 3-pointer from the top of the arc. VWC chipped away at the lead and made it an even game at 40-40 at the 16:29 mark off a 3 by Chris Teasley. Randall Ward answered back with a 3 of his own 30 seconds later to give the Tigers a three-point lead. Chris Astorga answered back with a jumper to make it a one-point contest, but Astorga picked up two consecutive fouls to give him four and left the Marlins with their starting frontcourt settled with foul trouble.
Ed Roberts drained a 3-pointer at 14:43 to give VWC a 2-point lead but Vaughn picked up his fourth foul of the game on the ensuing H-SC possession. With the game tied 48-48 with 11:37 remaining in the game, Ali Brown also picked up his fourth foul.
A Ru White dunk gave H-SC a two-point lead at the 9:36 mark. It led to an 11-0 run to give the Tigers firm control of the game. During the game-deciding run, both Vaughn and Brown were sent to the bench with five fouls apiece.
Virginia Wesleyan looked to be going on a run of their own with consecutive layups, but a jumper by George and a Colin O’Neill lay in quelled any momentum VWC gained. Marlin head coach Dave Macedo was whistled for a technical foul at 2:38 and Ward made the four consecutive free throws to provide H-SC a 12-point lead with 2:33 left in the game. The game got heated with 16 seconds left as an intentional foul by Roberts led to double technicals being issued.
George led all scorers with 22 points (8 of 14 field goals, 1 of 2 3-pointers, 5 of 6 free throws) and also tallied six rebounds and two steals in 25 minutes. Ward contributed 17 points, as he drained nine of his 10 attempts at the foul line, and four assists. White posted 16 points, nine rebounds and three assists while O’Neill continued his late season surge with 11 points.
Teasley paced Virginia Wesleyan with 17 points and three assists. Astorga put up 15 points and nine rebounds. DJ Woodmore had a quiet night offensively, but managed 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Roberts came off the bench to score 10 points along with three assists.