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TIGERS OPEN SEASON AGAINST AVERETT
The Hampden-Sydney Tigers will kick off their 2017-18 season in the friendly confines of S. Douglas Fleet Gymnasium as they host the Cougars of Averett University on Wednesday night. Wednesday will mark the third consecutive season these two teams will meet on opening night, with the series tied at 1-1. In 2015, Averett claimed a 71-59 win in front of the Tiger faithful, but Hampden-Sydney returned the favor last season with a 70-63 win at Averett. Wednesday should prove to be a fun night for fans: dinner will be served to students in Kirby before the game; there will be t-shirt and TV giveaways; and there will be live D.J.
Hampden-Sydney comes into the season picked eighth in the ODAC Preseason Poll. Last season, the Tigers finished the year 11-16 overall and 6-10 in the ODAC while reaching the conference quarterfinals. This season, the Tigers return nine players from last year's team, including two of the top five scorers in Malik Crute and Guilherme Guimarães. Crute is the top returning scorer at 8.0 points-per-game in his 16 games, while Guimarães added 7.8 points- and 5.0 rebounds-per-game last year. Also looking to see an increased role after a strong freshman campaign is Kevin Quinn, who scored 4.6 points-per-game as a rookie.
As a team last season, the Tigers scored 68.3 points-per-game and shot 43.4 percent from the floor, 33.4 percent from beyond the arc, and 66.0 percent from the charity stripe. The team also snared 36.1 rebounds-per-game and dished out 12.1 assists-per-game to 14.5 turnovers
Tenth year head coach Dee Vick returns to helm after guiding the Tigers to the ODAC Quarterfinals last season. In 2014, Vick won his 100th game in a 102-84 decision over Roanoke in the first round of the ODAC Tournament.
LOOKING AT AVERETT
The Averett Cougars were picked to finish third in the USA South East Division this year following a 12-15 2016-17 season. Last year, the Cougars went 9-5 in USA South play while earning a share of the regular season title.
The 2017-18 Cougars see 12 players return from year ago to lead a group of eight freshmen. Though the team loses all-conference performer Charles Bryant (17.6 ppg; 10.4 rpg), Averett does see four starters come back, including the team's second leading scorer from last year in James Contreras, Jr. (17.4 ppg).
Jalen Burnett and Darin Ketner also return after averaging 8.1 points- and 7.7 points-per-game, respectively. Austin DeLucia rounds out the top scorers after adding 6.2 points-per-game last season.
As a team last year, the Cougars averaged 73.7 points-per-game while shooting 42.4 percent from the floor, 30.4 percent from three, and 73.9 percent from the free throw line.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE TIGERS
Hampden-Sydney opened up play in 2017-18 in an exhibition at Davidson on Friday, November 3. Davidson won the match 106-55.
Will Sparks led the way for the Tigers with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including a 3-of-5 night from beyond the arc. Kevin Quinn was the only other Tiger to hit double figures with ten points. Eight other Tigers scored, including five points off the bench from Harrison Cobb.
Davidson was led in scoring by Kellan Grady and Peyton Aldridge who had 28 and 24 points, respectively. Jon Gudmundsson scored 15, and Rusty Reigel came off the bench to add ten points.
Davidson controlled the boards with 47 rebounds to Hampden-Sydney's 32. The Wildcats also won the turnover battle with nine giveaways while the Tigers had 18.
As a team, the Tigers shot 17-of-51 (.333) from the floor, 7-of-17 (.412) from three, and 14-of-21 (.667) from the foul line.
Davidson was 36-of-70 (.514) from the floor, 16-of-36 (.444) from deep, and 18-of-26 (.692) from the free throw line.
LAST TIME THEY MET
Hampden-Sydney started off the 2016-17 season with a 70-63 win over Averett in Danville on Tuesday night. Nick Chase paced the team with a career-night of 20 points on 6-of-8 shooting to go with five rebounds. Jake Duncan was also strong with 15 points and seven boards.
Averett was led by Charles Bryant's 19 points. Accheaus Fields and James Contreras, Jr. added 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Hampden-Sydney outrebounded Averett 42 to 36 but turned the ball over 15 times to the Cougars' 10.
As a team, the Tigers shot 25-of-57 (.439) from the floor, 7-of-16 (.438) from three, and 13-of-26 (.500) from the foul line.
Averett was 22-of-58 (.379) from the floor, 3-of-13 (.231) from deep, and 16-of-23 (.696) from the free throw line.