Season ends for Hampden-Sydney after second round NCAA exit

Published 12:35 am Sunday, March 5, 2023

HAMPDEN SYDNEY – An impressive season came to an end Saturday night for the Hampden-Sydney Tigers, but not without a fight. In the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament, the Tigers lost 72-59 to No. 2 ranked Christopher Newport.

Competing before the home crowd at Kirby Field House, junior Davidson Hubbard paced Hampden-Sydney with 14 points and 11 rebounds, his 14th double-double on the season. Hubbard’s fellow junior DJ Wright added 13, while team captain Adam Brazil had 11 points and 4 assists.

How it started for Hampden-Sydney

The Tigers took control early, scoring the first four points of the game with shots from junior Josiah Hardy and senior Ryan Clements. The Garnet & Grey pushed the advantage to 16-10 at 11:22 following a layup from senior team captain Chase Turner. But then it was CNU’s turn.

Email newsletter signup

The CNU squad fired off seven unanswered points to go ahead 17-16 at 7:19, and extended their run to 12-2 to lead 22-18 with 3:54 on the first-half clock. Consecutive baskets from Turner and Clements had H-SC within 23-22 at 2:01, but the Captains closed the opening half with six of the last seven points scored to lead 28-24 at the intermission.
CNU continued its momentum to begin the second half, scoring the first nine points to lead 37-24 with 17:31 remaining. Hampden-Sydney worked hard to narrow the margin, but just could not make much headway, trailing 43-34 at 12:02 after a pair of free throws by Wright. The Captains, however, responded with 12 unanswered points to take their largest lead of the night at 55-36 with 6:37 on the clock.

The Tigers refused to go away and battled back to within 55-43 at 3:58 with seven-straight points, as Brazil added two free throws and Hubbard connected on a three-pointer and two free throws, as well. Graves then made another three-pointer and the visitors pushed their lead back to 63-45 with just 2:15 left to play. Hampden-Sydney was able to close to within 64-53 at 1:20 following another three-pointer by Hubbard, but that was as close as it would get toward the final margin.

By the numbers

It was a night where the Tigers just couldn’t get a shot to go in, shooting 31% (23 of 74) from the field. That included 20% (5 of 25) on three points. They were, however, 8 of 10 from the free throw line. But the home crowd made sure the refs knew they disagreed with how few times Hampden-Sydney made it to the line.

Rodney Graves led CNU with his game-high 19 points, including 50% (4 of 8) from beyond the arc, adding seven rebounds. Jahn Hines added his 18 points along with six rebounds for the Captains. Trey Barber, meanwhile, collected a double-double for the Captains, with 15 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, adding a game-highs five blocks, as well, while Matthew Brodie contributed 12 points. CNU shot 38% (21 of 55) from the field, including 30% (8 of 27) on three-pointers, and 63% (22 of 35) at the line.

What’s next for Hampden-Sydney?

With the win, CNU improved to 26-3 and advances to next weekend’s NCAA Sectionals. Hampden-Sydney, ranked 20th nationally, ends this season with a final record of 22-7. That’s the team’s best season in 10 years, while only its fourth 20-win season in 20 years.

And there’s more good news for the Tigers. Out of this year’s squad, 19 of 20 team members expect to return, including all five starters. Only senior Harrison Taylor will graduate in May.