Hampden-Sydney crowned: Tigers win first ODAC title since 2007

Published 5:09 pm Sunday, February 25, 2024

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The upperclassmen led the way Sunday afternoon. Adam Brazil, Davidson Hubbard and Josiah Hardy combined for all but 21 of the Tigers’ points, as Hampden-Sydney beat Washington and Lee 81-56 to win this year’s Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Men’s Basketball Tournament. 

Brazil scored a game-high and career-high 27 points, capping off an impressive tournament run that earned him the Most Outstanding Player award. Hubbard meanwhile added 18 points and a game-high nine-rebounds, with Hardy putting up a season-high 15 points of his own. Overall, the Tigers outrebounded Washington and Lee 47-33, while shooting 44% (30-68) from the field. That included 35% (9-26) on three-pointers, and 71% (12-17) at the free throw line. The Generals didn’t have as much luck, shooting 36% (20-55) from the field, and just 56% (9-16) at the line. 

Brazil, Hubbard and Hardy were all named to the All-Tournament Team, while Hampden-Sydney recovered some history. The Tigers won their record 11th ODAC Tournament title, while playing in a record 16th championship game. There’s a third record to talk about as well, since the Tigers improved to 63-35 in the ODAC tournament with the win. That’s the most tournament wins in conference history. 

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Celebrating in front of a cheering group of fans at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Tigers Head Coach Caleb Kimbrough thanked everyone for their support. 

“This is a special group of young men and we are so thankful that we got to share this moment together,” said fifth-year head coach Caleb Kimbrough. “So many Tiger faithfuls came out to support to make this a day we will remember forever.” 

This marked the first time since 2014 that Hampden-Sydney played in the title game. It’s been 17 years since the team last won the title. That was 2007, when the Tigers beat Roanoke 77-62. 


Hampden-Sydney fans showed up in Salem with signs, with flags and made their voices heard. Herald photo by Connor Thompson.

Breaking down the game 

It started equal, with the Tigers and Generals tied at 5-5. But after that, Hampden-Sydney took control and didn’t look back. They led 43-25 coming out of halftime, extended their advantage to 56-36 with 10:16 remaining as Hubbard scored on a two-handed slam dunk on a fast break lob pass from Ryan Clements, and it was 59-36 at 8:36 after another three-pointer by Brazil in the right corner. Brazil then followed his own miss with a baseline jumper to make it 61-38 with 8:14 on the clock. W&L tried making a final push and was within 61-46 at 7:31 following a pair of three-pointers during a quick 8-0 run, but that was as close as it would get. 

Hubbard ended the run with another three-pointer of his own, followed by two free throws from Brazil, a step-back jumper by fifth-year Chase Turner, and another basket inside from Hardy for a 70-48 lead at 5:27. Brazil’s final three-pointer from between the circles made it 75-56 at 1:56, and the Garnet & Grey closed with 1-2 free throws by Clements, a three-pointer off the glass from sophomore Davis Cauble and free throws by senior Shawn Hodge. 

Who will Hampden-Sydney play? 

“Going to enjoy this one, but we have more work to do with this group!” Kimbrough said on Sunday afternoon.

And that’s the question Tiger alumni and fans are wondering. Where will Hampden-Sydney be ranked and who will they play in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament? Winning the ODAC gives them an automatic bid, so the team knows they’re in for the second time in two years. Considering that Hampden-Sydney entered the weekend as the No. 1 team in the nation, the Tigers are expected to be the No. 1 seed in the tournament. Now we just wait until Monday afternoon to find out. 

The NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship Selection Show is on Monday, Feb. 26, at 1 p.m.. The college will be hosting a Watch Party on-campus at The Tiger Inn for all students, faculty and staff, as well as the general public.