Winning streak ends for Hampden-Sydney against the Tribe

Published 9:03 pm Saturday, February 18, 2023

Junior Davidson Hubbard posted his 12th double-double with 21 points, along with a career-high and game-high 16 rebounds. However it wasn’t enough, as 16th-ranked Hampden-Sydney College dropped a 96-86 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) basketball decision on the road at Washington and Lee University.

Sophomore Ayman McGowan added a career-high 16 points off the bench for the Tigers, who trailed 52-40 at halftime and fell behind 87-67 with 6:30 remaining, before closing to within 90-83 late in the final regular season contest. Hampden-Sydney dropped to 20-5 overall, finishing 14-2 in the ODAC (second place), as its 11-game winning streak came to an end, while going 18-2 over its last 20 games. Robert DiSibio scored a game-high 25 points for W&L, who improved to 18-7 overall, finishing 11-5 in the ODAC (fifth place). Richie Manigault added 23 points for the Generals, won 10 of their last 11 games.

“Not going to win many games giving up 96 points,” said fourth-year head coach Caleb Kimbrough. “We never really found a good rhythm defensively and it threw us off all night. With that said, we are very proud of this group, we are confident in this group, and we are excited to prepare for the ODAC championship next week.”

A look at the rankings

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Hampden-Sydney, ranked 16th in this week’s Top 25 and second in Region VI of the all-important NCAA Division III Regional Rankings, fell behind 17-9 early before McGowan came off the bench and buried consecutive three-point fields-fouled on the latter and converting the rare four-point play to make it 17-16 at 12:15.

W&L used a 19-7 run to lead 36-23 with 8:12 on the first-half clock, but a put-back basket by Hubbard and back-to-back baskets from senior Ryan Clements made it 36-29 at 6:34. The Generals pushed their advantage back to 44-31 following their 10th made three-pointer of the half, but McGowan added two more three-pointers of his own to help cut the margin to 46-37 with 4:34 left … though W&L led 52-40 at the intermission.

H-SC trailed 54-44 at 18:28 of the second half after another put-back basket, as well as a slam dunk in traffic by Hubbard. W&L, however, used a quick 11-5 run to lead 65-49 with 14:35 left to play and pushed the margin to 83-64 at 7:58 after making its 14th three-pointer of the day. The Generals took their largest lead of the contest at 87-67 with 6:30 on the clock, but the Tigers refused to go away and battled back with a late 16-3 run to close to within 90-83 at 1:31.

Junior Adam Brazil sparked the outburst with 10 points, including a pair of three-pointers. It was too late and not enough, however, as W&L scored at the end of the shot-clock on its next possession, before sealing the outcome with 4-4 free throws over the final 41.5-seconds.

Hampden-Sydney by the numbers

Hubbard led H-SC with his 12th double-double of the season with 21 points and a career-high and game-high 16 rebounds. McGowan added his career-high 16 points, including 5-6 three-pointers, for the Tigers. Brazil had 13 points and five assists, while Clements contributed 11 points and junior Josiah Hardy had nine points and five rebounds. H-SC shot 43% (31-72) from the field, including 33% (13-40) on three-pointers, and 55% (11-20) at the free throw line.

DiSibio led W&L with his game-high 25 points, including 5-5 three-pointers, adding four assists. Manigault had his 23 points, including 5-7 three-pointers, and five rebounds for the Generals. Sam Wise contributed 13 points, six rebounds and a game-high six assists. W&L shot 54% (30-56) from the field, including 58% (14-24) on three-pointers, and 92% (22-24) at the line.

What’s coming next?

Hampden-Sydney is enjoying its finest season in 10 years, recently attaining its highest national ranking, while ranked second in the latest NCAA Regional Rankings. In addition, the NCAA announced its Top 16 overall seeds as of Feb. 16, and H-SC was at No. 11. The Tigers’ 20 overall wins, as well as the 14 conference wins, are the most under Coach Kimbrough. It’s also the program’s highest win totals since 2012-13 (23-5, 14-2)-the last season that H-SC advanced to the NCAA Tournament-while only the fourth 20-win season for the Tigers in the last 20 years.

Hampden-Sydney has secured the No. 2 seed for the 2023 ODAC Tournament that will take place next week as the Tigers will play in a quarterfinal contest on Friday, Feb. 24, at 6 p.m. at the Salem Civic Center in Salem. H-SC will play the winner of a first round contest between No. 7 seed Virginia Wesleyan University and No. 10 seed Shenandoah University-that game being played on Tuesday, Feb. 21, in Virginia Beach.