W&L Men's Basketball Notes - Week 3

Games this week:
Game 5: W&L (2-1, 0-0 ODAC) vs. Catholic (3-2) • Mon. • 7:00 pm
Game 6: W&L vs. Bridgewater (2-2, 0-0) • Wed. • 7:00 pm
Game 7: W&L at Averett (1-4) • Sat. • 2:00 pm

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Last time out • W&L 77, Emory & Henry 72 • 11/28/09

Senior forward Zac White recorded a career-high 27 points as Washington and Lee rallied from a 14-point second half deficit to defeat Emory & Henry, 77-72, on Saturday afternoon at the King Center. The game was closely contested through most of the first half, but Emory & Henry took a seven-point lead (36-29) going into the half after recording an 8-1 run over the final two minutes. E&H then opened up the second half on a 10-3 run to build its largest lead of the game at 46-32 with 17:41 remaining. However, the Generals chipped away at the lead with White notching 14 of his 27 points over the next 8:36 to help pull the Generals to within two points. A jumper from first-year guard Hans Harris tied the game at 55-55 with 8:04 remaining and he would add the go-ahead jumper at 7:24 to put the Generals up for good at 57-55. With the win, the Generals recorded their fifth victory at the King Center since 1990. White went 9-for-15 (60.0 percent) from the field, 8-for-11 (72.7 percent) from the line and scored 20 points in the second half, en-route to posting his career high in points. Fellow senior forward Ben Goetsch added his first double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds.

Catching up with Catholic
W&L and Catholic are meeting for the 23rd time, with the Cardinals holding a 13-9 advantage in the all-time series. CUA has won two of the last three meetings, including an 80-68 victory over W&L last season. Catholic enters Monday’s contest with a 3-2 overall record after posting two straight victories in convincing fashion. CUA most recently defeated Haverford, 70-37, and knocked off Gettysburg, 69-48. CUA outscored Haverford 39-14 in the second half to blow open what had been an eight-point game at the break. Junior forward Jason Banzhaf scored a team-high 14 points and junior guard R.J. Dixon added 10 points in the victory. On the year, Banzhaf is the lone Cardinal averaging in double figures with 13.8 points per game on 54.9 percent shooting from the floor. He is also adding a team-high 5.6 rebounds per game. First-year forward Chris Kearney is contributing 8.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game and Dixon is chipping in 6.8 points, 4.8 assists and 2.8 steals per game.

Last Time Against Catholic • CUA 80, W&L 68 • 11/19/08
CUA went on a 12-3 run to start the second half and led the rest of the way in posting an 80-68 victory over W&L in Washington, D.C. The Generals held a 34-33 lead at the break, but the Cardinals used the aforementioned run to assume a 46-36 advantage with 17:41 left in the game. W&L chipped away at the lead, eventually cutting it to a two-point game at 50-48 with 12:31 left, but CUA immediately went on a 13-2 run to stretch their advantage to 63-50 with 8:59 left en route to the victory. W&L was paced by forward Ben Goetsch, who totaled a then-career-high 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Junior forward Zac White notched 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting.Catholic, which shot 57.7 percent from the floor in the decisive second half, was paced by forward Jason Banzhaf’s 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the floor and guard R.J. Dixon posted 16 points.

Assessing Averett
Washington and Lee is 6-3 all-time against the Cougars, though AU has won each of the last two meetings, including a 78-65 win in 2006. Averett enters this week sporting a 1-4 overall record following a 60-42 win over Otterbein last week. Averett shot over 55 percent from the field and erupted for 41 second-half points in posting its first win of the season. Sophomore guard Kenny Hart led a balanced offense with team-high 11 points. Sophomore guard Chris Pagentine added 10 points and senior forward Mike Miller chipped in eight points and nine rebounds. On the season, the Cougars are led by Hart, who is averaging 13.5 points per game while connecting on 34.3 percent of his three-point attempts. Senior forward Chad Hardway is averaging 8.3 points per game and sophomore forward Ruben Pierce leads Averett with 4.8 rebounds per game. As a team, the Cougars have been outscored by an average of 16.6 points per game, have been outrebounded by 10.3 rebounds per game and are shooting just 38.2 percent (99-259) from the floor.

Brushing up on Bridgewater
The Eagles enter the week with a 2-2 record and will be playing their ODAC-opener against the Generals. W&L is 72-44 all time against Bridgewater. BC took both regular season contests from the Generals last season, but W&L captured a 10-point victory in the semifinal round of the ODAC Championship to advance to the ODAC Finals.  Most recently, Bridgewater fell to Southern Virginia by a final score of 91-65. SVU shot 55.8 percent from the floor and 61.1 percent (11-18) from the arc to even up the Eagles’ record at 2-2. Senior forward Jake Johnson led the way with 10 points and nine rebounds for Bridgewater while junior forward Segar Jordan also scored 10 points. On the season, the Eagles are led by senior guard Dominic Trawick, who is averaging a team-high 21.5 points per game, while adding 5.8 rebounds per game. Johnson is chipping in 11.0 points and 5.7 rebounds per game and senior guard D.J. Billups is averaging 7.0 points and 3.5 assists per game.

Last Time Against Bridgewater • W&L 77, BC 67 • 2/28/09 (ODAC Semifinals)
Eighth-seeded Washington and Lee shot 61.1 percent (11-18) from the floor in the second half en route to knocking off fourth-seeded Bridgewater, 77-67, in semifinal action of the ODAC Men’s Basketball Tournament. Forward Ben Goetsch scored a then-career-high 19 points and the Generals out-rebounded the league’s second-best rebounding team (36-34) to become the first-ever No. 8 seed to advance to the championship game. Despite shooting just 36.7 percent (11-30) in the opening half, W&L connected on six three-pointers and hit 8-of-12 free throws in leading by as many as 11 points (16-5) in the first 20 minutes en route to grabbing a 36-35 lead at the break. Bridgewater’s Robert Rice connected on a jumper to open the second stanza and the Eagles held a slight advantage until a jumper by senior forward Ryan Owens put W&L back on top (43-42) at the 14:50 mark. Bridgewater regained the lead (44-43) on the next possession courtesy of a D.J. Billups jumper, but Owens connected on a lay-up at the 12:23 mark to give W&L a 45-44 lead and the Generals would not trail the rest of the game en route to the 10-point triumph. In addition to his 19 points, Goetsch added seven rebounds. Owens and senior guard Chris McHugh scored 11 points apiece, while forward Zac White added 10 points. Guard Dominic Trawick led Bridgewater with 18 points, while Justin Reavis scored 15 points and collected nine rebounds. Rice chipped in 12 points for the Eagles.

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.

Firing Blanks
Bridgewater senior guard Dominic Trawick is currently leading the ODAC is scoring with  21.5 points per game and W&L senior forward Ben Goetsch is right behind him at 21.3 points per game. However, despite boasting the ODAC’s most prolific scorers, W&L and BC rank last and next to last in scoring offense with 64.5 and 70.8 points per game, respectively.

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 21.3 points and 8.5 rebounds, while shooting a blistering 62.3 percent (33-53) from the floor. He is currently second in the conference in scoring (trailing only Dominic Trawick from Bridgewater) and third in rebounding.

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. Goetsch must also like seeing Catholic and Bridgewater on the schedule this week. Last season, Goetsch set what was then a new personal best with 18 points against Catholic, only to exceed that mark with 19 points against BC in the ODAC Tournament. If Goetsch can somehow set another personal best in scoring, he would become the first General to score 30 points in a game since Greg Bienemann ‘08 scored 37 against Emory & Henry in 2008.

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 7.3 points per game and second on the team with an average of 5.8 rebounds per game. He has been in the starting lineup in each of W&L’s first four games and became the first General to start in his first career game since Femi Kusimo ‘08 did so in the 2004-05 season-opener.

Cold as Ice
Sophomore guard Jon Guest knocked down four free throws in four attempts in the last five minutes of the season-opening win over Greensboro. 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 80.6 percent (25-31) of its free-throws taken in “crunch time”, compared to just 49.1 percent (27-55) of its attempts in the other 35 minutes of the game.

Second Chances
In their three-point win over Otterbein, the Generals 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 57 offensive rebounds (14.3/game) and have given up only 37 offensive boards (9.3/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. 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.

Handy Hans
First-year guard Hans Harris has made several key buckets early in the season. In the win over Greensboro, it was Harris that knocked down back-to-back three pointers in the second half to give W&L a lead that it would not relinquish on its way to a 67-55 win. In Saturday’s win over E&H, Harris hit consecutive mid-range jumpers to complete the Generals’ 14-point comeback and give W&L a 57-55 lead that it would not give up.