Tigers end losing streak with key win

Published 12:05 pm Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Fans of Hampden-Sydney College’s (H-SC) men’s basketball team got to see Saturday the fruit of what Tigers Head Coach Dee Vick has been seeing in recent practices and narrow losses.

Junior point guard Malik Crute hit a long jumper from the top of the key with 1.9 seconds left in the game Saturday to help give H-SC a 67-65 home win over Shenandoah University, ending the Tigers’ nine-game losing streak.

“We’re improving,” Vick said Monday. “It hasn’t shown up in the win-loss column, but when you look at our defensive field goal percentage, what we’re holding our opponents to, the job we’re doing rebounding the basketball and the job we’re doing as far as valuing the ball and taking care of the ball, those are areas where we’re improving in, and fortunately, we made enough plays down the stretch to get the win.”

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Referring to Crute’s shot, Vick said the Tigers ran a similar play against Washington and Lee University in a 70-68 home loss Jan. 20, but Crute was not able to convert then.

“But it’s a shot that he can make,” the coach said. “And yeah, we drew it up for him, and he made the play, so it was a great shot by him. He’s very confident in those situations, and he just rose up and made a huge play.”

He led Hampden-Sydney with 16 points for the game.

The Tigers defense had to stand firm with 1.9 seconds remaining on the clock as Shenandoah looked to inbound the ball.

“I thought we had a steal,” Vick said. “They threw it in, we stole the ball, and I thought the clock should have gone off, but then … the coach was at the other end of the floor, I guess, calling a timeout, and they gave him the timeout, which they ran a good play and got a good look there, which was nerve-wracking, but fortunately, they missed it.”

The coach said that getting senior center/forward Guilherme Guimaraes back from injury has been big, not just for games but for practice and morale.

“He is a huge leader and an energy guy, and we’ve really missed him all year, and now he’s slowly coming back,” Vick said. “He played eight minutes and had a big dunk against Shenandoah. We’re hoping that his minutes can increase. Chaise Johnson’s doing well now; he’s a guy that didn’t play the first half of our season, and he’s back in the mix. He’s starting now and playing well.”

Senior center Hunter Kuehn finished with 12 points, and Johnson, a sophomore point guard, had 10.

The Tigers (5-14, 2-8 ODAC) visit Guilford College on Wednesday at 7 p.m.