Tigers stay undefeated, win Wooster Rotary Classic

Published 11:56 pm Saturday, November 18, 2023

Hampden-Sydney College has its first trophy of the basketball season. The No. 8 Tigers held off Rose-Hulman (IN) Institute of Technology 80-66 on Saturday to win the championship of the Al Van Wie/Wooster Rotary Classic in Wooster, Ohio.  

Hampden-Sydney senior Davidson Hubbard posted game-highs of 23 points and nine rebounds, while classmate and team captain Adam Brazil added 11 points and a game-high and career-high 10 assists en route to the win. To no one’s surprise, Hubbard was named the Classic’s Most Valuable Player, while senior team captain Josiah Hardy (Ashburn) earned the event’s Defensive MVP honors for the unbeaten Tigers (4-0), who led 44-39 at halftime and secured the outcome with a 24-9 run to begin the second half. Brazil was named to the All-Tournament Team. The Fightin’ Engineers (2-1) were led by Kobe Stoudemire with 15 points.

“Proud of these guys,” said fifth-year head coach Caleb Kimbrough. “This was a long road trip and we played two very good teams. I thought our commitment in the second half to defense and rebounding led to the win tonight. This team will keep growing, this is just the start.”

Breaking down the Wooster Rotary Classic

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Hampden-Sydney fell behind early in the Wooster Rotary Classic championship, trailing 9-5 at 18:20. The Tigers battled back with a 17-8 run to lead 22-17 at 12:45 when Brazil made a three-pointer. Junior Ayman McGowan sparked the run with a pair of three-pointers off the bench, while Hubbard and Miles Harris added three-pointers, as well-Harris also off the bench. The Engineers rallied back and led 33-28 with 7:17 left in the half, making four more three-pointers. H-SC, however, closed the half by outscoring R-H 16-6 over the final 6:57 to lead 44-39 at the intermission. Hubbard added another three-pointer, while fifth-year Chase Turner came off the bench to nail two three-pointers, before Brazil added another triple from halfcourt just ahead of the half-ending horn. The two teams combined for 19 three-pointers in the first half, including 12-23 by the Garnet & Grey, and 7-15 by the Engineers.

The Tigers continued the momentum in the second half, outscoring R-H 24-9, to take their largest lead of the contest at 68-48 with 11:36 remaining-the outburst capped by yet another three-pointer-this one from Brazil. Seven different players scored for the Garnet & Grey, including three-pointers made by Brazil, Hardy, Harris and senior DJ Wright off the bench. R-H used a late 15-5 run to close to within 73-63 at 5:05, but could get no closer. H-SC responded with seven unanswered points, including 3-4 free throws by Hubbard, to lead 80-63 with less than a minute left toward the final margin of victory.

Hubbard led H-SC with his game-highs of 23 points, also a season-high, and nine rebounds. Brazil finished with his 11 points and a game-high and career-high 10 assists for the Tigers. Harris contributed nine points, as well, while Turner and fifth-year Ryan Clements each had eight points.

Shooting the lights out

 H-SC shot 45% (30-67) from the field, including 47% (17-36) on three-pointers, and 38% (3-8) at the free throw line-it was a season-high 17 three-pointers for the Tigers. R-H shot 43% (23-53) from the field, including 44% (12-27) on three-pointers, and 73% (8-11) at the line.

Davidson Hubbard was named the Al Van Wie/Wooster Rotary Classic Most Valuable Player for his two-game efforts, averaging 19.5 points and 12.5 rebounds, including 8-16 three-pointers. Josiah Hardy was named the Classic’s Defensive MVP, averaging 9.5 points and 4.0 rebounds, including 9-14 field goals. Adam Brazil was named to the event’s All-Tournament Team, averaging 11.5 points and 7.0 assists, including 5-10 three-pointers.

What’s after Wooster Rotary Classic? 

H-SC returns home for an extended break during the Thanksgiving Holiday week before beginning Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) competition against Averett University on Wednesday night, November 29, at 7 p.m. in S. Douglas Fleet Gymnasium at Kirby Field House.