W&L Men's Basketball Notes - Week 3

Week 3

Washington and Lee (2-1, 0-0 ODAC) at Emory & Henry (1-2, 0-0 ODAC)

11/28/2009 • 2:00 PM

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W&L vs. Greensboro: W&L leads 56-38
Current Streak: +1, W&L
Last Meeting: W&L 84, E&H 81 (OT)

The Head General
Adam Hutchinson (Amherst ‘93) is in his seventh season as the head coach at Washington and Lee.  Hutchinson has led W&L to a 57-99 (.365) record, including back-to-back-to-back seasons with double-digit wins for the first time since 1988-1991, as well as back-to-back winning campaigns for the the first time since 1988-90.  Hutchinson was honored as the 2008 ODAC Coach of the Year after leading the Generals to a 15-11 record. Last season, Hutchinson led W&L to a 16-13 mark and the Generals’ advanced to the title game of the ODAC Tournament for the first time since 1989.  In his 12 seasons as a head coach, Hutchinson claims an 90-166 (.352) overall record.

Last time out • W&L 68, Otterbein 65, 11/21/09 (at Case Western Reserve)
Senior forward Ben Goetsch scored a game-high 23 points to lead Washington and Lee to a 68-65 victory over Otterbein in the consolation game of the Stephanie Tubbs-Jones Tournament hosted by Case Western Reserve on Saturday. The Generals, behind six points from Goetsch, ended the first half on a 10-5 run to assume a 32-27 lead at halftime. W&L pushed its lead out to nine points (42-33) early in the second stanza, but an immediate 10-0 run by the Cardinals gave them a 43-42 lead with 10:40 left in the game.The game remained tight the rest of the way as neither team led by more than five points. A Goetsch free throw with 4:54 remaining gave the Generals a 54-53 lead they would not relinquish. Sophomore guard Kyle Bond hit a clutch three-pointer with 51 seconds left and senior forward Zac White drilled all four of his free throws in the final 14 seconds to secure the win. Goetsch was 8-of-11 from the floor and he grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. He was joined in double figures by White, who scored 18 points, and first-year forward J.D. Ey, who notched 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting. The Generals held a 34-25 edge on the boards and committed just eight turnovers in the contest. Otterbein was paced by Cory Ratai, who notched 19 points on 7-of-7 shooting from the floor. Brian Pollock chipped in 14 points for the Cardinals. 

Eyeing Emory & Henry
Washington and Lee and Emory & Henry are meeting for the 95th time, with W&L holding a decided 56-38 advantage in the all-time series. The Generals have won five of the last seven meetings, including two out of three a season ago. The Wasps, who were picked eighth in the conference’s preseason poll, have started the season 1-2 after dropping a pair of contests at the Westminster Tip-Off over the weekend. E&H fell to Notre Dame (Ohio), 92-71, before dropping a 78-63 contest to Allegheny. In the loss to Allegheny, E&H was hampered by 29 turnovers and and shot just 31.0 percent (9-29) in the first half in finding itself down 41-25 at the break. Junior forward Terrance Grigg led the Wasps with a game-high 18 points and seven rebounds, while junior forward Josh Cunningham added 10 points in just 13 minutes of play. On the season, the Wasps are averaging 72.3 points per game, while allowing their opponents to score an average of 83.3 points per game. E&H has shot just 41.7 percent (80-192) from the the floor thus far, while its opponents have connected on 51.4 percent (93-181) of their shot attempts. Grigg leads E&H in scoring and rebounding this season, posting averges of 19.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, while also shooting 57.4 percent from the field (27-47). Cunningham and senior guard J.D. Dyson are each averaging 9.3 points per game, while junior guard Josh Rigney is contributing 9.0 points on a nightly basis. Junior guard Bobby Stafford leads the team with 4.7 assists per game.

Last time vs. Emory & Henry (Feb. 24, 2009 - W&L 84, E&H 81 OT)
Senior guard Chris McHugh scored a career-high 21 points and connected on the game-tying three pointer with 34 seconds left to force overtime, where Washington and Lee connected on 8-of-12 free throws to defeat Emory & Henry, 84-81, in the play-in round of the ODAC Tournament at the Warner Center. After racing out to a 17-3 lead with 12:34 left in the first period, the Generals were outscored 23-7 over the next 6:46 as the Wasps assumed a 26-24 lead at the 5:49 mark and would extend their lead to 11 points (41-30) at the break. In the second half, W&L began chipping away at the Emory & Henry lead and a layup by senior forward Ben Heller pulled the Generals even (56-56) with 8:42 showing on the clock. Heller would give W&L its first second-half lead (59-58) when he connected on a free throw less than a minute later. Emory & Henry regained the lead, and W&L managed to tie it on three occasions in the final five minutes, including McHugh’s three. In the overtime period, forward Zac White connected on 5-of-6 free throws and came up with a key steal with 13 seconds left to help preserve W&L’s first postseason win since 2000. McHugh’s 21 points broke his previous career-high of 20. Heller scored 17 points and added a career-high 12 rebounds in collecting his first career double-double. Senior guard Isaiah Goodman added 14 points, seven rebounds and three steals. For the Wasps, senior guard Robert Hudson scored a team-high 18 points and grabbed six boards, while senior guards Jarrell Christian and Camillo Weinz added 15 and 13 points, respectively.

Conference opener
Saturday’s matchup with Emory & Henry marks the ODAC-opener for both teams. W&L is 3-3 in conference openers under coach Hutchinson, including wins in each of the past two seasons. Since joining the ODAC, W&L has opened its conference schedule with Emory & Henry on three occasions and sports a 3-0 record in those contests. Most recently, W&L defeated the Wasps, 78-65, last season in the ODAC-opener for both teams.

Strong Start = Strong Finish
W&L is 34-6 in its last 40 games when leading at the break and has compiled a 68-28 (.708) record over the past 11 years when it leads at the break. W&L has won a total of 91 games during that stretch, meaning that the Generals have led at halftime in nearly 75 percent of their wins during the last 11 years.

Sharing is caring
W&L has opened the season with a 2-1 record and how it distributes the basketball has been vital to the Generals’ success thus far. In each of its two victories, W&L recorded more assists than turnovers and it did not do so in its lone loss. The Generals had 15 assists and 12 turnovers in the win over Greensboro, 13 assists and eight turnovers in the win over Otterbein and just three assists against 13 turnovers in the loss to Case Western. Junior guard Jason Cimino leads with way thus far with an average of 3.0 assists and just 0.2 turnovers per game

Giant killers
Prior to last season, the Generals had not defeated an opponent ranked in the Top 25 since a 44-42 win over No. 5 Hampden-Sydney in 1997. However, W&L bucked the trend last season and knocked off a pair of them. Then-junior Zac White hit a jump shot in the waning seconds to propel the Generals to a 68-66 win over No. 18 Roanoke on Jan. 17. W&L then outlasted No. 19 Guilford, 82-76 in double overtime, in the quarterfinal round of the ODAC Tournament. W&L will have a chance to knock off a few more ranked opponents this season as Guilford (No. 2) and Randolph-Macon (No. 19) are both ranked this preseason and Virginia Wesleyan and Catholic are both receiving votes in the poll.

Dialing it in
Senior forward Ben Goetsch had a breakout season in 2008-09 and established himself as one of W&L’s most productive and efficient players, posting averages of 9.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, while shooting a team-high 51.9 percent (109-210) from the floor. Thus far in 2009, Goetsch has posted averages of 23.0 points and 7.0 rebounds, while shooting a blistering 64.3 percent (27-42) from the floor.

Hit on 20?
Entering this season, senior forward Ben Goetsch had never recorded a 20-point game, with 19 being his career high. However, Goetsch has already posted games of 29 points and 23 points this season. The lone game in which Goetsch did not reach the 20-point threshold was the 63-46 loss to Case Western, when he fell three points shy in scoring 17 points.

Youth is served
With 10 first-year players on the roster, W&L’s locker room is chock full of fresh faces this season. Seven Generals made their collegiate debuts in the loss to Case Western on Friday. Devin Dillard, Kelton Buchanan, A.J. Dowers, Matt Gaeta, Jeremy Adkins, Mike Wilner and Doug Poetzsch all saw the first action of their collegiate careers, with Gaeta, Adkins, Dowers and Dillard all breaking into the scoring column for the first time.

Ey see you
First-year forward J.D. Ey has been one of a number of fresh faces making large contributions this season. Ey is currently third on the team in scoring with 7.7 points per game and second on the team with an averge of 5.7 rebounds per game. He has been in the starting lineup in each of W&L’s first three games and became the first General to start in his first career game since Femi Kusimo ‘08 did so in the season opener of the 2004-05 season.

What a difference a year makes
In the season-opening win over Greensboro, sophomore forward Will Smith logged 12 minutes of playing time and grabbed two rebounds. Seemingly innocous numbers, but the 12 minutes were two more than he played in all of his rookie season and the two rebounds matched his total from 2008-09.

Cold as ice
Sophomore guard Jon Guest knocked down four free throws in four attempts in the last five minutes of the win over Greensboro. To date, Guest is a perfect 12-for-12 from the charity stripe in the last five minutes of regulation and overtime for his career. As a team, W&L is hitting on 85.0 percent (17-20) of its free-throws taken in “crunch time”, compared to just 46.3 percent (19-41) of its attempts in the other 35 minutes of the game.

Brick layers
The Generals are shooting 40.7 percent from the floor as a team, but with the exception of senior forward Ben Goetsch (.643, 27-42) and sophomore guard Jon Guest (.583, 7-12), W&L does not feature a starter shooting better than 40.0 percent from the floor. Senior forward Zac White (.321, 9-28), sophomore guard Kyle Bond (.333, 5-15) and first-year forward J.D. Ey (.370, 10-27) are shooting a combined 33.8 percent (24-71). Things do not improve as W&L gets into its bench, as the reserves are shooting at a 23.3 percent (10-43) clip.

Second chances
In their three-point win over Otterbein, W&L held a 34-25 advantage on the boards, but more importantly, had 15 offensive rebounds to Otterbein’s three, as well as 16 second-chance points to Otterbein’s three. On the season, the Generals have 42 offensive rebounds (14.0/game) and have given up only 29 offensive boards (9.6/game) to their opponents.

Fifty Nifty
W&L failed to reach the 50-point barrier in suffering it first loss of the season, 63-46, to Case Westen Reserve on Friday. Since coach Hutchinson took over, W&L has failed to reach the 50-point mark on 23 occasions and the Generals hold a 1-22 (.045) mark in those contests. When reaching at least 50 points, the Generals have posted a 56-77 record (.421) under Hutchinson. W&L’s last win when scoring fewer than 50 points was a 49-44 triumph over Lynchburg on Feb. 8, 2004 in Lexington.

Road to Perdition
The road to Emory, Va., appears to be W&L’s very own road to perdition. The Generals are 19-26 all-time against the Wasps in theKing Center and just 4-15 since the 1990-91 season. W&L has won only defeated the Wasps on the road on two occasions since 1997.