LYNCHBURG, Va. – The No. 9 seed Washington and Lee men's basketball team used a 16-4 run to open the second half as it pulled away for a 66-51 victory over the No. 8 seed Lynchburg Hornets on Tuesday evening in the opening round of the ODAC Tournament at Turner Gymnasium.
The opening 6:29 of the contest featured four lead changes and two ties, with W&L (14-12) taking a slim 9-8 edge at the 13:31 mark off a three-point basket by sophomore forward Hans Harris (Lansing, Mich./Waverly). Neither team was able to find the net in the next 3:06 of the game, but the Generals broke the streak off a layup from Harris with 10:25 remaining in the opening stanza. W&L then went on to score six of the next nine points in the game to assume its largest lead of the half, 20-14, with 5:11 on the clock.
The Hornets (11-15) responded with a streak of their own, closing the opening 20 minutes on a 10-5 run to pull within one point (25-24) at the break. In the first half, Lynchburg was led by junior forward Nate Campbell, who scored the Hornets first 14 points and 18 of LC's 24 points while going 9-for-15 from the field.
Lynchburg grabbed a 28-27 lead at the 18:22 mark in the second half (28-27), but W&L answered with a 12-0 run over the next 5:05 to take an 11 point lead (39-28) with 13:17 remaining in the contest. Four different Generals found the net during the streak, paced by four points apiece from sophomore center Taylor Gilfillan (Raleigh, N.C./Enloe) and first-year forward Larry Whitaker (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett). In turn, the Hornets were 0-for-6 from the field while committing three turnovers.
W&L maintained its lead over the closing minutes, limiting the Hornets to just 30 percent (9-30) shooting in the second half, while never allowing the Hornets to pull closer than 10 points (42-32) over the final 11:43 as the Generals cruised to their 11th-consecutive win over the Hornets.
W&L held LC to just 32.3 percent shooting (21-65) in the contest, including 1-for-12 (8.3%) from deep. Conversely, the Generals shot 48.1 percent (26-54) while also holding a 46-31 advantage on the boards.
Whitaker led the Generals, tying a career-high with 17 points in addition to grabbing seven boards. Gilfillan added 14 points and a team-high nine rebounds, while Harris was the Generals' only other scorer in double digits, contributing 10 points and a career-high seven rebounds.
The Hornets were paced by Campbell, who finished with a game-high 22 points (18 in first half). Sophomore forward Austin Chillemi added six points and a team-high six rebounds.
The Generals will return to action on Friday, facing No. 1 seed Virginia Wesleyan at 1:00 pm in the quarterfinals of the ODAC Tournament at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Va.