W&L Men's Basketball Game Notes - Week 7

Week 7

W&L (8-4, 1-3) vs. Lynchburg (6-7, 2-3), Wed., Jan. 13 • 7:00 pm
W&L at Roanoke (5-8, 2-2), Sat., Jan. 16 • 7:00 pm

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Last Time Out • Virginia Wesleyan 69, W&L 64 (1/9/10)
Virginia Wesleyan used a late 16-4 run to claim a 69-64 win over Washington and Lee on Saturday afternoon at the Warner Center. In a rematch of last year’s ODAC title contest, the Generals held a 35-28 lead at the break and maintained a five-point lead (52-47) with 9:39 remaining in the game. However, the 12th-ranked Marlins held the Generals to just one field goal over the next 8:56 in posting a 16-4 run that gave them a 63-56 lead with just 43 seconds remaining in the game.  From there, VWC hit 6-of-8 from the charity stripe to post the five-point win, its 17th-straight victory over W&L. Senior forward Ben Goetsch led the Generals with 24 points and 11 rebounds.  Senior forward Zac White tallied five points and 10 boards, while first-year forward Taylor Gilfillan chipped in a career-high eight points and three rebounds. Senior guard Stephen Fields posted a game-high 27 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field and 10-of-11 shooting from the free throw line to lead the Marlins.  Sophomore forward Donald Vaughn logged 16 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks, while sophomore forward Jamie Richardson added six points, eight rebounds and three assists. 

Scouting Lynchburg
The Generals are squaring off against Lynchburg for the 106th time, with W&L holding a 74-31 advantage in the all-time series. W&L has won seven-straight contests in the series, including a pair of tightly contested games a season ago. Lynchburg’s last win in the series came almost four years to the day, a 62-60 win on Jan. 14, 2006. After opening the season 1-6, LC has rebounded to post a 5-1 record over its last six games in improving to 6-7 on the year. Most recently, the Hornets captured a 99-78 victory over Bridgewater in which five different players registered at least 10 points. Sophomore forward Nate Campbell led the way with 16 points, while senior forwards K.C. Mendez and Jeff Langrock scored 13 and 12 points, respectively. Senior guards Steven Echols and Jack Burgess added 10 apiece. On the season, LC is led by Echols, who is averaging 18.6 points, 5.1 assists and 3.5 steals per game. He is currently fourth in the league in scoring and leads the ODAC in both assists and steals. Mendez is averaging 12.6 points per game and Campbell is chipping in 12.3 points and a team-high 5.9 rebounds per game.

Last Time Against Lynchburg • W&L 58, Lynchburg 55 • 2/11/09
Forward Zac White hit the go-ahead jumper with 1:12 remaining and added a free throw with 3.9 seconds left to propel Washington and Lee to a 58-55 ODAC-win over Lynchburg at the Warner Center. Lynchburg, which trailed 35-26 at the half, outscored the Generals 14-5 over the first 5:05 of the second half to knot the game at 40-40 at the 14:55 mark. Guard Kyle Bond responded with a three-pointer to put W&L back up three (43-40) at 14:24. The teams traded baskets until Lynchburg forward Mason Wooldridge gave the Hornets their first lead of the second-half (51-50) on a lay-up with 7:40 remaining. W&L then scored the next four points to assume a 54-51 advantage on a jumper by senior guard Isaiah Goodman at 3:54. The Hornets then rattled off four points of their own and took a short-lived 55-54 lead at 2:20 when junior guard Jack Burgess split a pair of free throws. W&L senior guard Chris McHugh tied the game at 55-55 with a free throw with 1:45 showing on the clock to set up White’s heroics. On the game, the Generals shot 41.2 percent from the floor (21-51), while the Hornets shot 41.1 percent (23-56). LC outrebounded W&L, 40-32, but the Generals forced 16 turnovers while committing just eight. Bond led the Generals with a career-high 10 points. Senior forward Ben Heller added nine points and a team-high eight rebounds, while White chipped in six points and five boards. Wooldridge notched game-highs with 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Hornets. Guard Steven Echols added six points, five boards and five assists and.

Scouting Roanoke
W&L and Roanoke are meeting for the 115th time and RC holds a 77-37 advantage in the all-time series. The two teams have split their last four regular-season meetings, with each team winning twice on the opposing team’s home floor. The Maroons have dropped six of their last seven games and enter the week with an overall record of 5-8 and a league mark of 2-2. Most recently, Roanoke fell to Eastern Mennonite, 119-91. The Maroons allowed 69 first-half points and found themselves down 21 at the break. Junior guard Melvin Felix led Roanoke with 22 points and junior guard Matt Crizer added 17 points. Senior forward Kendrick Chittock added 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Felix leads RC in scoring on the season with an average of 13.1 points per game. Chittock is chipping in 12.1 points and leads the team with 7.5 rebounds per game. Crizer is averaging 11.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game and junior guard Parrish Walker averages 10.8 points and 3.8 assists per game. As a team, Roanoke features the most league’s porous defense as it allows an ODAC-high 85.4 points per game and it also has the second-worst rebounding margin (- 4.0) in the league.

Last Time Against Roanoke • Roanoke 73, W&L 66 • 2/18/09
Roanoke outscored Washington and Lee, 28-9, over the final 7:48 of the game to take a 73-66 decision from the Generals at the Warner Center. A layup by forward Ben Goetsch with 7:48 remaining in the contest capped a 14-4 run by W&L and gave the Generals a 57-45 lead before the Maroons began their game-ending run. Washington and Lee held a slight 28-27 advantage after an evenly played first period that saw five ties and six lead changes. Washington and Lee shot just 41.7 percent in the first half (10-24), compared to 55.0 percent for the Maroons (11-20), but connected on four three-pointers to RC’s zero. Two free throws by senior forward Ben Heller with 17:36 left to play gave W&L a 38-36 lead, an advantage that W&L would hold until a three-pointer from Roanoke guard Corey Poindexter with 1:56 left gave the Maroons a 63-61 cushion. Heller responded with two more free throws to tie the game at 63-63 at the 1:29 mark, but RC outscored W&L 10-3 the rest of the way. W&L shot just 38.6 percent on the game (22-57), while RC connected on 52.0 percent of its attempts from the floor (26-50). Senior guard Chris McHugh led W&L with 20 points on 4-of-6 shooting from behind the arc. Goetsch added 15 points, while Heller chipped in 13 points, five rebounds and four assists. Guard Melvin Felix led RC with a game-high 28 points. Felix was 8-of-12 from the floor and connected on 11-of-12 shots from the line. Senior center Curtis Peery added 18 points and a game-high six rebounds.

STRONG START = STRONG FINISH
W&L is 38-7 in its last 45 games when leading at the break and has compiled a 72-29 (.712) record over the past 11 years when it leads at the break. W&L has won a total of 95 games during that stretch, meaning that the Generals have led at halftime in just over 75 percent of their wins during the last 11 years.

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, 21 points and 20 points this season and W&L has already had an individual reach at least 20 points on seven different occasions, eclipsing the six 20-point games from a season ago.

Leading the Way
With a career scoring average of 5.8 points per game entering the season, it may be a bit strange to see senior forward Ben Goetsch among the ODAC leaders in scoring with a robust 17.3 points per game average. However, it seems as though it may just be a matter of opportunity. Goetsch is a career 49.4 percent shooter from the floor and is averaging 13.6 shot attempts per game this season, including a career-high 25 shot attempts against Virginia Wesleyan. 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.

Cold as Ice
As a team, W&L is hitting on 70.3 percent (64-91) of its free-throws taken in “crunch time”, compared to just 59.1 percent (95-159) 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 65.2 percent (15-23) of his charity tosses in the final five minutes, but just 45.5 percent (20-44) of his tries in the first 35 minutes. As a team, Washington and Lee is last in the ODAC with an overall free throw percentage of 63.0 percent.

Quantity not Quality
Despite the aformentioned difficulty of hitting free throws, W&L has made up for it in the sheer number of charity tosses it has had in relation to its opponents. The Generals have attempted 262 free throws as a team and have made 165 of their attempts which is nearly as many as their opponents have attempted (179).

Cold as ice II
If W&L has had a tough time connecting on free throws in the first 35 minutes of games, the Generals have had an even more difficult time hitting their three-point attempts at any point in the game. W&L is hitting just 27.1 percent (49-181) of its attempts from distance and has made five triples or more in just three  games thus far. Currently, the Generals rank last in the ODAC in both three point percentage (27.1) and three pointers made (49). Last season, W&L connected on 34.2 percent (156-456) of its three-point tries and averaged 5.4 three pointers made per game.

Crash the boards
On the season, the Generals are sporting a rebounding average of 36.6 rpg, while allowing just 34.2 rpg to their opponents. Over the last five games however, the Generals have been even more dominant averaging, 38.0 rebounds while only allowing their opponents 33.0 boards per game. Additionally, W&L is averaging 13.8 offensive rebounds per game over the last five contests, compared to just 8.0 offensive boards for its opponents. Senior forward Ben Goetsch leads the ODAC with 4.0 offensive rebounds per game and he is second in the league with 9.6 total rebounds per game. He recently pulled down 18 rebounds in a 76-65 win over Emory, the highest total by a W&L player since Brian Ricketts ‘00 grabbed 21 boards against Lynchburg in 2000.

Double Down
In the Generals 83-48 loss to Eastern Mennonite, W&L failed to have a player reach double figures for the first time since a 62-46 loss to Randolph-Macon on Jan. 28, 2006 - a streak of 95 consecutive games. John Mumper scored a team-high nine points in that game, which was also the third time that season that the Generals did not have a player reach at least 10 points.

Fifty Nifty
W&L failed to reach the 50-point barrier in suffering two of its four losses on the season. The Generals fell, 63-46, to Case Westen Reserve and 83-48 to Eastern Mennonite. Since coach Hutchinson took over, W&L has failed to reach the 50-point mark on 24 occasions and the Generals hold a 1-23 (.042) mark in those contests. When reaching at least 50 points, the Generals have posted a 62-79 record (.440) 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.

OUCH
Washington and Lee’s 35-point loss to the Royals marked the largest margin of defeat by a W&L team since a 37-point (98-61) defeat at the hands of Virginia Wesleyan on Dec. 5, 2004. The loss also tied the worst home loss in coach Hutchinson’s career at W&L, tying a 35-point loss to Guilford (79-44) back on Feb. 11, 2004 - Hutch’s first season in Lexington.

Ouch II
The 34 points scored by EMU’s D.J. Hinson last week marked the second-highest individual scoring game by a W&L opponent and just the third time that an opponent has eclipsed 30 points since coach Hutchinson took over the reins. Emory’s Chase Fawcett scored 35 points on Nov. 27, 2004 and Guilford’s Jordan Snipes dropped in 32 points on Feb. 14, 2007 for the other two instances. What’s interesting is that current W&L assistant coach Caleb Kimbrough has been involved in two of those games as he was in the starting lineup for Guilford when Snipes scored 32 -- Kimbrough only contributed nine points in GC’s 95-77 win.

Stars Aligned
The stars must have been aligned against W&L in the Generals’ recent loss to Virginia Wesleyan. W&L shot better than 40.0 percent from the floor (40.3), it led at the half (35-28), it had more assists than VWC (14-9) and it outrebounded the Marlins (35-28). Despite W&L holding an upper hand in all of these categories, VWC was able to hand the Generals their first loss of the season when they were able to do any ONE of the things above. Additionally, the loss marked the Generals’ first loss of the season in a day game, as well as W&L’s first loss on a Saturday.

Out of the Blocks
W&L senior forward Ben Goetsch has been W&L’s most reliable player thus far in 2009-10, posting team-highs in points per game (17.3) and rebounds per game (9.6). However, it seems that teams are beginning to adjust and have begun to put the clamps on him. Through the season’s first six games, Goetsch was averaging 22.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, but over the last six games he has seen his scoring average dip to 12.5 points per game, while his rebounding has actually increased slightly (10.2 rpg). Part of the decline in scoring could be attributed to his lack of free throw attempts. Through the first six games of the season, Goetsch attempted an average of 8.3 free throws per game. Over the last six games, he has attempted just 5.7 free throws per game and has connected on just eight total attempts (8-17).

Welcome Sight
Making the trip to Roanoke later in the week is a welcome sight for W&L. Currently sporting the lowest field goal percentage (.405), the lowest three-point percentage (.271), the lowest free-throw percentage (.630), as well as being the league’s lowest scoring team (64.2 ppg), the Generals will look to take advantage of Roanoke. The Maroons are currently the league’s easiest team to score on as they allow 85.4 points per game and they rank near the bottom the field goal percentage defense (.448), three-point field goal percentage defense (.361), scoring margin (- 8.5). Senior forward Ben Goetsch, the league’s second-best rebounder (9.6 rpg) should also be licking his chops as the Maroons boast the ODAC’s second-worst rebounding margin (- 4.0)