Basketball Continues Hot Start

Ned Belliveau ’14

After defeating Division II St. Augustine’s College in a preseason exhibition, the Hampden-Sydney Tigers began their season with a 102-70 thrashing of non-conference opponent Washington College. The first half saw the Tigers hold the Shoremen to 21 points while dropping in 56 of their own. The Shoremen were able to rebound in the second half, outscoring the Tigers 49-46, but it was far too little, far too late. Junior Khobi Williamson led all scorers with 20 points, and senior captain Harrison George (18 points) and sophomore Leon Hargrove (12) also finished in double figures. The Tigers victory effort was aided by a strong showing on the glass, outrebounding their opponent 41-25. The Tiger defense was particularly stingy, holding the Shoremen to 32.7% shooting for the game and a miniscule 19.2% in the first half.

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Cam Anderson drives the paint. Cam is vital piece to the H-SC Basketball squad

The Tigers then traveled south to Rocky Mount, NC to take part in the South Region Challenge. Their first game pitted them against in-state foe Mary Washington. Defense was the key yet again for the Tigers as they held the Eagles to 62 points on 35.6% shooting. The Tigers were also efficient and balanced on offense, hitting 54.7% of their shots and having four players end the game in double digits. Cam Anderson was the leading scorer with 21 points on 8 of 9 shooting. George, Williamson and sophomore Kodie Critzer also finished the game with double digits to help the Tigers roll.

 The following day found the Tigers facing off against the tournament hosts, the undefeated Bishops of North Carolina Wesleyan. The Bishops ended the first half with a six-point lead.  The Tigers were able to battle back to take the lead, but the Bishops tipped in a missed jumper at the buzzer to send the Tigers to their only loss of this young season.  Three Tigers tied for the scoring lead with fourteen: Greg Lewis, Cam Anderson, and Mike Murray. Andersen also added eight rebounds and two steals to finish off a well-balanced outing.

 Emory and Henry had the unfortunate luck of facing the Tigers in both their home and conference opener. The Tigers exploded for 59 points in the first half and held the Wasps to a mere 29. Harrison George led the Tigers with 20 points in just 19 minutes of action, and Khobi Williamson and Greg Lewis also finished in double digits while playing less than a full half of basketball.  The Tigers offense was particularly potent on this occasion thanks to 28 assists, led by Mike Murray’s nine.  The Tigers outscored the Wasps 39-35 in the second half and easily coasted to their first ODAC win.

Harrison George made 10 of 14 shots and led the Tigers with 24 points as they faced a tough road test against Wesley College. The Tigers found themselves down one heading into the halftime break and needed George’s 13 second half points to pull out an 83-75 victory. Khobi Williamson was stellar on the glass, hauling in 12 rebounds to go along with his ten points to chalk up his first double-double of the season.

The Tigers returned home to a raucous Kirby Gymnasium crowd to take on non-conference foe Methodist College. The Monarchs jumped out to a three point lead to start the contest, but that would be their only lead of the game as the Tigers systematically squeezed the life out of their offense with a suffocating full court press. Four Tigers finished in double figures and every member of the roster saw significant action in what proved to be an easy one as the Tigers cruised by, 88-51.

 Two days later, the Tigers faced off against another overmatched opponent in Piedmont College. Harrison George matched his season high output with 24 points while also bringing down nine rebounds, dishing out three assists, and swiping two steals.  The Tigers were again able to empty their bench as they went home happy with a 100-62 victory.

 Much of the team’s success is a product of their efficient offense, coupled with a propensity to create turnovers. The Tigers lead the ODAC in scoring offense (90.4 points per game), scoring margin (+24.6 points per game), field goal percentage (55.1%), rebounds (30.2 per game), assists (23 per game), and turnover margin (+5.86).

 Individually, Cam Anderson leads the conference in field goal percentage (78.1%) and is also fourth in blocks per game with 1.7. Harrison George’s 17.7 points per game average is good for fourth in the conference and Leon Hargrove is sixth in steals with 2.0 per game. Freshman Mike Murray has started his college career off nicely, currently ranking fourth in assists per game with 4.4.

The Tigers travel to conference newcomer Shenandoah on Wednesday and will return home to face ODAC opponent Roanoke College on Saturday December 8th, so get out, get loud, and support your Tigers!

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