Tigers fall to CNU

Published 5:31 pm Friday, December 17, 2021

Sophomore D.J. Wright scored 15 points, including 5-7 three-point field goals, but Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) dropped a 79-74 nonconference basketball decision at home to nationally-ranked No. 12 Christopher Newport University (CNU) on Tuesday night at S. Douglas Fleet Gymnasium. Fifth-year Jake Hahn added 13 points off the bench for the host Tigers, who trailed 39-28 at halftime while falling for the first time this season-now standing at 6-1 overall. Jason Aigner scored a game-high 25 points, including 19 in the first half, with seven three-pointers for the visiting Captains-now at 8-2 overall.

“Not going to win a lot of games when you get beat that badly on the rebounds,” said third-year head coach Caleb Kimbrough. “With that said, I’m proud of our fight. We made it a game. We will definitely learn from this one.”

H-SC and CNU were playing each other for the first time since an NCAA Tournament game on March 6, 1997, ironically won by the Captains by an identical 79- 74 score … and the Tigers started fast with the first seven points of the contest to lead 7-0 at 18:20. Sophomores Davidson Hubbard and Josiah Hardy each scored inside before a three-pointer by Wright. The Captains, however, responded with a 24-6 run to lead 24-13 with 8:18 left in the first half. H-SC answered back with a quick 10-4 run to close to within 28-23 at 4:21, getting five points from Hahn and another three-pointer by Wright. CNU outscored the hosts 11-5 to close the half and led 39-28 at the intermission.

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The visitors opened the second half with a quick 11-3 run to take their largest lead of the night at 50-31 with 14:40 left to play. H-SC, however, refused to quit and began battling back against the 12th-ranked opponent-using a 20-7 run to pull to within 57- 51 at 6:58. Hubbard (9) and sophomore Adam Brazil (8) combined for 17 of the points with Brazil connecting on a pair of three-pointers, while Hubbard added a trey of his own. The Tigers were within 61-58 with 3:57 remaining after a turnaround jumper by junior Chase Turner, but the Captains stretched the margin to 71-61 at 1:25. The Garnet and Grey made one last push and again closed to within three at 74-71 with 28-seconds left after another deep three-pointer from Wright, but CNU secured the outcome with 5-6 late free throws around a final three-pointer by Hahn.

Wright led H-SC with his 15 points, including 5-7 on three-pointers. Hahn added 13 points, including 3-7 three-pointers and three assists for the Tigers. Brazil had 12 points and five rebounds, Hubbard contributed 11 points and three steals, and Hardy added nine points and three steals. H-SC shot 40% (27-68) from the field, including 46% (11-24) on three-pointers, and 60% (9-15) at the free throw line. The Tigers were out-rebounded 48-30.

Aigner led CNU with his 25 points, including 19 in the opening half, while 7-12 on three-pointers. Jahn Hines added a double-double with 19 points and a game-high 15 rebounds for the Captains. Jake Latta had 10 points, Darian Peterson had eight points and 10 rebounds, and Ty Henderson had eight points and a game-high six assists. CNU shot 48% (28-59) from the field, including 32% (8-25) on three-pointers, and 75% (15-20) at the line.

H-SC, enjoying its finest start to a season since 2005-06 (11-0), will host the H-SC Classic on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 18-19, in Fleet Gym. The two-day event will include fellow ODAC member Ferrum, along with Mary Washington and No. 23 Maryville. The Tigers will play Mary Washington on Saturday, Dec. 18, at 2 p.m., and No. 23 Maryville on Sunday, Dec. 19, at 2 p.m. Ferrum and Maryville will play on Dec. 18 at 4 p.m., and the Panthers will play Mary Washington on Dec. 19 at 4 p.m.