H-SC Tigers Fall Short To Lynchburg College, 86-84

Published 1:33 pm Thursday, February 6, 2014

HAMPDEN-SYDNEY — Hampden-Sydney Basketball dropped a tough 86-84 game at home against Lynchburg College on Wednesday night.

Both teams were on fire throughout the contest as evidenced by each team shooting over 50 percent overall and from the three point line. Hampden-Sydney jumped out to a 6-0 lead on back-to-back three pointers from Leon Hargrove (Raleigh, NC/Middle Creek) and Greg Lewis (Mechanicsville/Hanover). That would be the largest lead until late in the stanza as neither team could lead by more than three points until less than five minutes.

After an Omar Kemp three-point play at 4:49 put the visitors up 31-30, the Tigers scored the next eight points with six coming from two Lewis trifectas. H-SC continued to lead by seven, 44-37, following a Khobi Williamson (Norfolk/Maury) dunk at 1:23, but an Austen Arnold jumper and a desperation Harry West three at the buzzer made it a 44-42 H-SC lead going in to intermission.

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The 15-minute halftime break didn't prove to slow down either team. H-SC went up 57-54 at 14:24 following a Williamson dunk, but Zack Burnett and Harry West combined for three consecutive shots from beyond the arc to race ahead 63-57 just a little over a minute later. The Tigers trailed 65-60 at the 10:40 mark, but a Manny Hernandez jumper and another Burnett three pointer gave Lynchburg their largest lead of the game at 70-60 with 10 minutes remaining.

Following a Hampden-Sydney timeout, the Tigers scored the game's next six points in the paint to claw within four to force a Lynchburg timeout. The timeout halted the momentum for a short period of time, and a Gary Boone shot from deep range just before the shot clock buzzer kept Lynchburg up six, 75-69, with seven minutes to go.

The Tigers then went on a 7-0 run to take back the lead, 76-75, with 4:10 remaining. Burnett came up big again, making a jumper to take back the lead and then drained a corner three to go up four, 80-76, just over 40 seconds later. JaVonte Reddick (Richmond /L.C. Bird) and Hargrove would score back-to-back layups to tie the game at 80-80 at 2:31, but Lynchburg responded again with a Daniel Rowe three on their next possession to go ahead 83-80 with only two minutes left.

After a Tigers timeout, Reddick answered Rowe's three with one of his own at 1:29. Hampden-Sydney forced Arnold into a tough jumper as Williamson secured the rebound, giving the Tigers the ball back with the chance to take a lead with 1:01 left. Murray drove down the lane and went for a layup but was fouled by Alex Graves. Murray made the first to put H-SC ahead 84-83. He missed the second, and Williamson got the rebound, but Lynchburg forced a jump ball with the possession arrow in their favor with 32 ticks left on the clock.

Lyndon White drove to the rim and had his layup blocked by Williamson. Rowe grabbed the offensive rebound and had his layup also blocked by Williamson, but the ball went out of bounds and to Lynchburg with eight seconds left. Lynchburg called for a timeout, and Burnett converted a contested, leaning, fallaway three-pointer with 5.8 remaining to put Lynchburg in front 86-84. Hampden-Sydney took a timeout, and Hargrove drove the length of the court to get off a tough layup at the buzzer but it did not fall.

Lewis scored a game-high 24 points with 20 coming in the first half in addition to four assists. He made his first seven shots from the field and finished the game 9-13 overall and 6-8 from three. Williamson faced a double team nearly all game long but still managed to post 18 points on 9-11 shooting, 10 rebounds, and three blocks while also posting his 1,000th career point. Hargrove contributed 13 points, four rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

Lynchburg shot 35-64 (54.7 percent) while Hampden-Sydney went 32-58 (55.2 percent) for the game. Both teams made double-digit three pointers as H-SC went 10-16 and LC 11-20. The Tigers held a slim advantage at the free throw line, going 10-16 compared to 5-8 for the Hornets.

Hampden-Sydney hosts Eastern Mennonite on Saturday at 2 p.m.