Men's Basketball Notes - Week 5

Week 5

Washington and Lee Men's Basketball (5-2, 1-1 ODAC)

Dec. 30 vs. Ferrum (4-4); 3:00 pm
Jan. 2 vs. Swarthmore (1-7); 2:00 pm
Jan. 3 vs. Emory (4-3)/Drew (2-5); 2:00/4:00 pm

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Last time out • W&L 61, Averett 58 (12/5/09)
Senior forward Andrew Payne sunk a pair of free throws with 37.5 seconds remaining to lift Washington and Lee to a 61-58 victory over Averett on Dec. 5 at the Grant Center. Averett took a 58-57 lead with 1:00 remaining as Kenny Hart drilled a three-pointer from the top of the key. However, Payne drew a foul under the basket with the shot clock running down on the ensuing possession and nailed both charity tosses for a 59-58 advantage. The Cougars played for one shot, but senior forward Zac White blocked a driving layup attempt by senior guard Brandon Malone as the shot clock expired with 2.5 seconds remaining. The Averett bench received a technical foul following the play, but White missed both free throw attempts. However, first-year guard Doug Poetzsch broke free on a long in-bounds pass and hit a layup at the buzzer for the final margin. W&L fell behind 21-9 early on, but recovered with an 18-6 run to tie the game at 27-27 heading into the halftime break. Poetzsch and senior forward Ben Goetsch both scored seven points during the run. Payne led W&L with a career-high 13 points in his first action of the season. He was 4-of-6 from the field and 5-of-7 from the foul line. Poetzsch tallied nine points, while White and first-year forward J.D. Ey both notched eight points. Goetsch chipped in seven points and nine rebounds before fouling out with 3:13 remaining.

Finding out about Ferrum
W&L and Ferrum are squaring off for the third time, with the Generals holding a 2-1 advantage in the all-time series. The two teams split a pair of contests last season, with each team winning on the other’s floor. The Panthers are 4-4 on the season and have won three-straight games. Most recenty, they beat Piedmont, 61-53, behind 19 points from sophomore guard Daryl Hart. Junior forward Derek Mitchell added 16 points and 12 rebounds, while senior guard Jerrell Wade chipped in seven points, seven assists and four steals. On the season, Ferrum is paced by Mitchell, who is averaging 18.9 points and 13.0 rebounds per game. Hart is chipping in 15.1 points per game, while Wade averages 7.8 points and 3.9 assists per game.

Last time against Ferrum • W&L 60, Ferrum 56 • 12/1/08

Senior forward Ben Heller totaled 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the floor to lead Washington and Lee to a 60-56 victory at Ferrum. Neither team led by more than seven points in the contest as the Generals opened a 21-14 lead with 7:50 remaining in the first half. However, the Panthers then went on a 9-2 run over the next 5:17 to knot the game at 23-23 with 2:33 left in the half and W&L carried a slim 29-26 lead into the break. The second half proved to be another close stanza as neither team led by more than six points in the final 20 minutes. The Generals held a 50-44 advantage with 6:23 left, but the Panthers again knotted the score at 54-54 with 3:03 remaining. Heller then gave W&L the lead for good (56-54) on a jumper with 2:34 left and stretched a four-point lead to 58-54 on another jumper with 24 seconds remaining in leading the Generals to the win. Heller led W&L, while forward Zac White tallied 12 points and four rebounds. Senior guard Isaiah Goodman added eight points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Guard Jerrell Wade paced Ferrum with 13 points, while forward Derek Mitchell notched 10 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Forward Keith Crump chipped in 11 points.

Dechiphering Drew

The Generals and Rangers will be meeting for the third time in the all-time series. The two teams have splilt the first two meetings, with Drew taking the last. The Rangers are currently 2-5 on the season and have dropped two straight. Last time out, the Rangers fell, 81-66 to Staten Island. Junior guard Mike Mayes and sophomore guard Terrell Brown each notched a team-high 15 points, while Brown hauled in 15 rebounds and Mayes grabbed seven caroms. On the season, Drew is being outscored by roughly 10 points per game (72.7-62.6) and is grabing four fewer rebounds than its opponent. Mayes is averaging a team-high 16.7 points per game to go with 5.6 rebounds per game. Brown leads the way with 7.3 rebounds per constest, while also chipping in 13.3 points on a nightly basis.

Last time against Drew • Drew 57, W&L 55 OT • 11/16/07
Guard Mike Mayes nailed a pair of free throws with 33.8 seconds left in overtime to lift host Drew University to a 57-55 victory over Washington and Lee in the opening round of the Rose City Classic. The Generals opened a 47-42 lead with 3:32 left in the second half, but saw the Rangers score eight-straight points to take a 50-47 lead with 30 seconds remaining. However, W&L forward Ben Goetsch drilled a three-pointer with 20 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 50-50 and send the contest into overtime. The extra session saw each team hold a lead, but the Generals surged ahead 55-54 with 56 seconds left on a free throw by guard Isaiah Goodman. Goodman’s second free throw was off the mark and Mayes gave the Rangers the lead for good at 56-55 with his two charity tosses. The Generals had an opportunity to take a last shot for the win, but turned the ball over in the final seconds and Drew senior guard Chris Lopez hit 1-of-2 free throws with 1.8 seconds left to provide the final margin. Drew led 24-21 at halftime, but the Generals battled back to lead by as many as five points (47-42) in the second half. Senior forward Greg Bienemann led W&L with 17 points and seven rebounds, while forward Kirk Jones added nine points and five boards. Lopez paced the Rangers with 20 points, 10 rebounds and six steals. Mayes chipped in 17 points, three rebounds and three steals.

Estimating Emory
W&L and Emory have split the previous 16 meeting between the two schools and each boasts and 8-8 all-time record. Emory sports a 4-3 record, but is coming off of consecutive losses to Oglethorpe and Rochester (N.Y.). In the loss to Oglethorpe (a 97-93 double-overtime decision), Emory had six players score in double figures, led by senior guard Dan Curtain’s 19 points. Sophomore guard Austin Claunch scored 18 points and added seven assists, first-year guard Alex Greven chipped in 13 points, while junior guard Julien Williams and senior forwards Chad Hixon and Anthony Fernandez tallied 11 points apiece. On the year, Emory is averaging 81.7 points per game on 50.0 percent (212-424) shooting from the floor as a team. Claunch leads the way with a team high 14.7 points per game and 6.1 assists per game. Greven is averaging 12.3 points per game and Williams is chipping in 9.3 points and a team-high 5.9 rebouunds per game.

Last time against Emory • Emory 76, W&L 72 • 11/20/07

Emory senior guard Dan Smith hit all eight of his free throw attempts in the final 3:59 of the game, helping the Eagles to a 76-72 victory over Washington and Lee. The contest featured 14 ties and 16 lead changes and neither team led by more than six points at any point during the game. The Generals and the Eagles were tied 38-38 at halftime, but W&L took a six-point lead, 67-61, with 5:04 left in the contest. After that, Smith began his streak from the foul line, hitting eight-straight, and giving Emory the lead for good with 2:26 to play as the Eagles held on for a 76-72 win. Senior forward Greg Bienemann paced the Generals with 21 points and eight rebounds, while guard Chris McHugh scored 13 points. Guard Isaiah Goodman chipped in nine points. Emory shot a blistering 91.7 percent (22-24) from the charity stripe. Smith and guard John Kresse led the Eagles with 14 points apiece. Senior guard Spiros Ferderigo added 11 points and guard Brian Giometti totaled 10 markers.

Scouting Swarthmore
The Generals are 4-3 all-time against Swarthmore. The two teams have not met since Swarthmore took a 70-63 decision from W&L in 2001. The Garnet are currently 1-7 on the season and are coming off an 80-70 overtime loss at Washington College. In that loss, the Garnet erased an eight-point second half deficit and senior forward Danny Walker made a game-tying lay up with 1.5 seconds remaining to force overtime. First-year forward Will Gates led four Swarthmore players in double figures with 15 points, while adding nine rebounds. Walker added 12 points, first-year guard Jordan Martinez talled 11 points and nine boards and senior guard Matt Allen chipped in 10 points with nine assists. The Garnet are being outscored by an average of 69.5-58.6 per game, while also losing the rebounding battle (43.2-34.2). As a team, Swarthmore is shooting just 34.4 percent from the floor.  Gates is the leading scorer with 11.8 points per game, while also grabbing a team-high 5.8 points per game.


W&L is 35-6 in its last 41 games when leading at the break and has compiled a 69-28 (.711) record over the past 11 years when it leads at the break. W&L has won a total of 92 games during that stretch, meaning that the Generals have led at halftime in exactly 75 percent of their wins during the last 11 years.

Leading the Way
With a career scoring average of 7.1 points per game, it may be a bit strange to see senior forward Ben Goetsch leading the ODAC in scoring with a roubust 19.9 points per game average. However, it seems as though it may just be a matter of opportunity. Goetsch is a career 51.0 percent shooter from the floor and is averaging a shade over 13 shot attempts per game thus far. As a junior, Goestch took an average of 8.1 shots per game en route to posting a 9.7 ppg average. He took just 2.5 shot attempts per contest over his first two seasons combined.

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, 27 points, 23 points and 20 points this season. 

The Poetzscher
First-year forward Doug Poetzsch has begun to make his mark in the last three games. He is averaging 17 minutes per game over the last three contests. Poetzsch followed up a five-assist game against Catholic with a career-high 11 points in W&L’s loss to Bridgewater. He then tallied nine points on 4-of-6 shooting as the Generals defeated Averett heading into the break. On the season he is averaging 6.7 points on 45.0 percent shooting from the floor and he boasts an assist/turnover ratio of 3.0 (6 assists/2 turnovers).

Cold as Ice
As a team, W&L is hitting on 75.4 percent (43-57) of its free-throws taken in “crunch time”, compared to just 55.5 percent (61-110) of its attempts in the first 35 minutes of the game. Senior forward Ben Goetsch has shown the greatest improvement in the last five minutes. He is connecting on 68.4 percent (13-19) of his charity tosses in the final five minutes, but just 43.8 percent (14-32) of his tries in the first 35 minutes.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.

Butter Fingers
Somebody may have greased up the basketball prior to W&L’s last two games as both the Generals and their opponents have had a hard time handling the rock. W&L averaged 10.4 turnovers through its first five games (52 total) and forced its opponents into 15.4 miscues per game (77 total) over that span. W&L has turned the ball over 51 times in its last two games (25.5 per game), while its opponent has 55 turnovers (27.5 per game) in the last two. Senior forward Ben Goestch has had some of the most trouble, coughing up the ball 16 times the last two games. He had 10 giveaways over the first five games.

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.

Armed Robbery
In W&L’s 68-64 loss to Bridgewater, the Generals forced the Eagles into 32 total turnovers and recorded 16 steals. Junior guard Jason Cimino led the way with six thefts, one short of the school record. The 16 steals were the most by a W&L team since it also recorded 16 against Eastern Mennonite on Feb. 10, 2001. The Generals are averaging just a shade under 10 steals per game with 9.9 thefts per contest.

Major Payne
Senior foward Andrew Payne saw his first action of the season in the Generals’ three-point win over Averett. His debut could not have been timed better as he paced W&L with a career-high 13 points and hit a pair of free throws with 35 seconds left to secure Generals’ fifth win of the season. He also added three steals, three rebounds and a pair of assists in the victory.