George's Spurt Sends Tigers To Tenth Victory

Published 4:28 pm Monday, December 31, 2012

HAMPDEN-SYDNEY – Despite having won nine games heading into Christmas break, Hampden-Sydney head coach Dee Vick felt his team was ready for a few days away from the hardwood.

He was right. The Tigers returned from the week off to win two games in the Bojangles' Holiday Classic, hosted by H-SC over the weekend. The Tigers blew past Huntingdon 99-54 in the opening game on Saturday, and pulled away from Johns Hopkins 73-58 in the second game on Sunday.

In all, a good way to end the 2012 part of the 2012-13 basketball season.

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“I'm pleased,” said Vick. “We jumped on Huntingdon from the tip [on Saturday], and today we were tested. We had to grind it out for a while, and it was good to see how we answered the challenge.

“I'm especially proud of Harrison [George]. He rose up and was a great leader today. He helped keep us poised when we needed him the most.”

George, who was named the Classic MVP, scored a game-high 21 points on 10-14 shooting to go along with five rebounds, five steals and four assists.

With nine minutes remaining in the game, George came up with a steal and coverted a short jumper to put the Tigers (10-1) up 54-39. At the 5:33 mark, the senior captain converted a layup that gave the Tigers a 63-45 advantage. During that three-and-a-half minute stretch, George had 10 points, two steals and a defensive rebound to put the game out of reach.

Prior to that stretch, the Tigers had enjoyed a three-possession lead for most of the afternoon, but JHC kept it close enough that a run at the right time could make it dangerous.

A three-pointer by Mike Murray with three seconds left in the half gave H-SC a 32-25 halftime lead.

With 16:07 left, George fed Khobi Williamson a pass on a monstrous dunk that gave H-SC a 39-33 advantage.

From there, the Tigers were able to slowly push its lead into double-figures, but it wasn't until George's spurt, that H-SC was able to enjoy a comfortable advantage.

“He was active on both ends, but especially on the defensive end. That will be important later on, and it was really good to see today. Murray also did a good job distributing the ball. He had six assists, and could've had more if we could've made a couple more shots.”

In addition to George's 21 points, Williamson added 10 points and two blocks, while Murry had ten points to go along with his six assists. Cam Anderson pulled down a game-high six rebounds.

John Hopkins was led by Mike Rhoads, who had 14 points, while Jimmy Hammer and George Bugarinovic each tallied 11 points.

Hampden-Sydney shot 31-60 (51.7 percent) overall, 4-17 (23.5 percent) from three, and 7-10 (70 percent) from the free throw line. Johns Hopkins went 21-44 (47.7 percent) from the floor, 4-14 (28.6 percent) from three range, and 12-16 (75 percent) from the free throw stripe. Johns Hopkins turned over the ball 22 times, resulting in 28 points off turnovers for the Tigers.

“We're growing every time we take to the court, and we're developing a great chemistry. When we were challenged, we didn't panic, we played with poise and made a run at a good time to put the game away.”

Against Huntingdon on Saturday, Kodie Cristzer scored a game-high 15 points on 5-6 shooting from behind the arc.

The Tigers jumped out to an early lead and was at one point up 35-7 in the first half, before heading to the locker room with a 52-19 lead.

Williamson and George each added 13 points, while Williamson just missed out on a double-double with nine rebounds. Leo Hargrove added ten points off the bench.

Ryan Petty was the lone Hawk in double figures with 12 points, five rebounds, four assists, and four steals.

Hampden-Sydney shot 37-74 (50 percent) overall, 12-30 (40 percent) from three, and 13-21 (61.9 percent) from the free throw line. Huntingdon was 17-66 (25.8) from the floor, 4-22 (18.2 percent) from behind the three point line, and 16-29 (55.2 percent) from the charity stripe. H-SC dished out 22 assists to only nine for HC while the Tigers held a 28-14 advantage in points off turnovers. The Hawks coughed up the ball 24 times and the H-SC bench scored 57 points in the contest.

Hampden-Sydney will return to ODAC play on Saturday at Gilford College at 4 p.m.

“These are the important ones, and nobody is playing as well as Guilford is at this point. We haven't had a lot of luck down there recently, so to go down there and get a win would be a big positive for us in terms of our league standing.”