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Tiger Cagers Dominate Second Half to Defeat Shenandoah 91-62

Keegan Wetzel
Keegan Wetzel

WINCHESTER, VA - The Hampden-Sydney Basketball team led just 35-34 at intermission but dominated the second half from start to finish to defeat Shenandoah University in an ODAC contest Wednesday night.

Hampden-Sydney took control of the game in the early going. Mike Murray (Norfolk, VA / Norfolk Christian) drained a three pointer at 18:41 to get the scoring going and four straight buckets from Cam Anderson (Charlottesville, VA / Blue Ridge) surrounded by two Avery Green layups put the Tigers up 11-4 at the 16:11 mark. Following a Shaquille Rodney layup, Murray answered with a layup of his own while Fletcher Lumpkin (Richmond, VA / Mills Godwin) and Sam Dale (Charlottesville, VA / Covenant) drained back-to-back three pointers to put Hampden-Sydney up by a convincing 13 points, 19-6, 5:18 into the contest.

The lead continued to hover around double digits following a Greg Lewis (Mechanicsville, VA / Hanover) triple at 9:27, but the Hornets slowly creeped back in to the game from there. Sharif Almulla buried two straight three-point makes to cut the deficit to just four, 27-23, at the 8:02 mark. Harrison George (Raleigh, NC / Leesville Road) and Bryce Mitchell traded layups, and George made one of two free throws to make it 30-25. Shenandoah scored seven of the game's next nine points to tie the game with 3:27 left in the half. An Anderson layup followed by two Green free throws kept the game knotted with 1:49 to go, but Murray gave the Tigers the halftime lead by making one of his two free throws with 36 seconds left.

Shenandoah shot 48% in the first half while going 5-11 from three and the free throw line along with just seven turnovers. Hampden-Sydney shot 43%, 5-10 from three, and 4-7 from the charity stripe with 

The second half proved to be nothing at all like the first. Xavier Alston converted a jump shot on the first possesion following intermission to give Shenandoah their first and only lead of the game, 36-35. The next trip down the court for the Tigers saw Keegan Wetzel (Mebane, NC / Eastern Alamance) make two attempts at the stripe to give the Tigers a 37-36 lead. A Murray steal led to a Anderson fastbreak dunk and then a George steal resulted in a coast-to-coast posterizing jam on a Shenandoah defender to put H-SC up 41-26 and force a Shenandoah timeout.

The H-SC defense continued to lock down Shenandoah while the offense continued to roll. A George jumper followed by back-to-back Murray threes made it a 49-36 Tiger lead at 16:18. Rodney responded with a jumpshot, but H-SC scored the next 13 points to make it a 61-38 game. Hampden-Sydney would go on to lead by as many as 32 while it took the Hornets 12:41 of second half game time to crack double-digit scoring in the half.

Five Tiger cagers scored in double figures, led by 14 from Anderson as he made 7 of his 11 field goal attempts with six rebounds and two blocks. George added 13 points and six boards while Lewis added 12 points on 4-4 shooting from deep range. Murray contributed 12 points (4-7 FGs, 3-4 threes) along with five assists and four steals. Dale came off the bench to tack on 10 points, four rebounds, and two steals. Wetzel posted six points and six rebounds.

Jared Carithers led all scorers with 15 points, shooting 5-10 from the floor and 3-4 from three with four rebounds while Green added 10 points. Almulla finished with nine points, all in the first half, while Rodney also had nine.

Hampden-Sydney shot 34-66 (51.5%) overall, 13-27 (48.1%) from three, and 10-16 (62.5%) from the free throw line. After having a strong first half shooting performance, Shenandoah finished just 22-56 (39.3%) overall, 7-22 (31.8%) from beyond the arc, and 11-17 (64.7%) from the foul stripe. H-SC outrebounded SU 43-31. The Tigers dished out 21 assists and had only 14 turnovers compared to 17 for the Hornets. H-SC held a 17-6 advantage in second chance points and a 34-26 edge in bench points.

Hampden-Sydney hosts ODAC foe Roanoke College on Saturday at 2 pm.

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