W&L Men's Basketball Escapes With a 61-58 Win at Averett

W&L Men's Basketball Escapes With a 61-58 Win at Averett

DANVILLE, Va. – Senior forward Andrew Payne (Charleston, W.Va./George Washington) sunk a pair of free throws with 37.5 seconds remaining to lift Washington and Lee to a 61-58 victory over Averett in men’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at the Grant Center.

Averett (1-5) took a 58-57 lead with 1:00 remaining as sophomore forward 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 (Baltimore, Md./Park School) 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 (West Islip, N.Y./St. Anthony’s) broke free on a long in-bounds pass and hit a layup at the buzzer for the final margin.

W&L (5-2) 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 (Timonium, Md./Gilman) both scored seven points during the run.

The Generals methodically pushed out to a 48-41 lead with 7:21 remaining, but the Cougars responded with a 12-0 run over the next 2:55 to assume a 53-48 advantage with 4:26 to play. W&L quickly knotted the game at 53-53 with 2:51 left and neither team led by more than one possession for the remainder of the contest.

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 (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) both notched eight points. Goetsch chipped in seven points and nine rebounds before fouling out with 3:13 remaining.

Hart paced Averett with 15 points, while junior guard Deran Burns and senior forward Chad Hardaway both contributed 11 markers.

Washington and Lee will now break for finals and the holidays before returning to action on Dec. 30, when it hosts Ferrum for a 3:00 pm contest.