Tigers Win Comfortably

Published 3:57 pm Thursday, December 27, 2012

HAMPDEN-SYDNEY – Due to a disciplinary matter for a violation of team policy, Khobi Williamson, along with five other Tigers, were not allowed to play in the first half of last Thursday's game against Marygrove College.

Williamson took out any frustrations he may have had at sitting out the first 20 minutes with a career-high 26 points in the Tigers' 75-50 victory over Marygrove, a NAIA team out of Michigan.

The Tigers built an early lead and were never really challenged, but couldn't turn the game into a complete rout either.

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While I'm pleased with our record [9-1],” said H-SC head coach Dee Vick, “I am not pleased with some things. It's the little things we're not doing right now. You have to be a great teammate, have the right attitude, help on defense, or whenever a player takes a charge, you have to be there first to help him off the floor. Those things make a difference.”

Despite the fact a third of the team was unable to participate in the first half, Hampden-Sydney wasted little time in building an comfortable lead.

The Tigers built a 12-0 lead at the 15:00 mark of the first half on a jumper by Mike Murray. Marygrove was able to whittle down the Tigers' lead to six points at 14-8, but after a couple of traded baskets, Murray and Kodie Critzer hit back-to-back three-pointers to push the Tigers' lead back to 12 at 22-10. H-SC worked that advantage out to a 37-17 advantage at the break.

“I'm proud of the guys that played in the first half,” said Vick. “Some got an opportunity they haven't had until tonight, played hard and took advantage of it.

“We try to teach them every single day that if you're not a starter, you have to prepare for the opportunity, and they showed that's what they have been doing.”

Whatever frustrations Williamson had sitting on the bench for the first half, were taken out on Marygrove in the second. A monstrous dunk with 18:50 left in the contest put H-SC up 41-17. He scored 11 of the Tigers' first 13 second half points. Two free throws at the 14:34 mark gave H-SC a 50-32 advantage. After a brief rest, he came back in with a little over ten minutes left to play and scored ten of H-SC's next 12, as H-SC took a 64-42 lead with 6:12 left.

The pesky Mustangs kept things close. Back-to-back layups cut H-SC's lead back to 18 with 4:32 left, but two foul shots by Murray and a jumper by Sam Dale quickly erased any momentum gained by Marygrove.

Williamson finished the half the way he started it by scoring H-SC's final five points to wrap up the comfortable victory in the rare pre-Christmas game. Hampden-Sydney usually does not play from the end of final exams until its post Christmas tournament.

“We scheduled this game on purpose to keep our fitness level high before we break for Christmas. It's difficult to keep things together over that amount of time. Hopefully, that will pay off for the tournament.”

In addition to Williamson's 26, Murray added 12 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals. Critzer scored nine points.

Marygrove was led by Diante Taylor, who had 13 points, while Darryl Foster scored 11 points and pulled down nine rebounds.

Hampden-Sydney shot 25-56 (44.6 percent) for the game and was 21-32 (65.6 percent) from the free throw line but shot just 4-22 (18.2 percent) from the three point line. Marygrove was 17-43 (39.5 percent) overall, 4-15 (26.7 percent) from three range, and 12-21 (57.1 percent) from the charity stripe. The Tigers outrebounded the Mustangs 37-29 and forced 27 Marygrove turnovers leading to 29 points.

Hampden-Sydney will return from the Christmas break on Saturday to host the Bojangles' Holiday Challenge. The Tigers will face Huntingdon College at 5 p.m. Afterward, Randolph College will face Johns Hopkins University.