CARLISLE, Pa. -- The Washington and Lee men's basketball team nearly blew a 22-point second half lead in staving off Dickinson for a hard-fought 69-67 win in the season-opener for both teams on Tuesday night.
Holding a 55-33 lead following a put back by sophomore forward Larry Whitaker (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) at the 12:06 mark of the second half, the Generals' (1-0) offense went dormant as Dickinson (0-1) limited W&L to just 1-for-8 shooting, while forcing six General turnovers over the next 8:42. During that stretch, the Red Devils connected on 9-of-12 shots and surged ahead, 59-57, on a three-pointer from Gerry Wixted at the 3:53 mark.
On the Generals' ensuing possession, sophomore guard Kevin Gill (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) drilled a three of his own to put the Generals back up one, 60-59, before DC's Adam Honig made good on a pair of free throws at the 2:49 mark to make it 61-60 in favor of the Red Devils.
A pair of buckets by Junior forward J.D. Ey (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) t and a three-pointer by junior foward Jeremy Adkins (Huntington, W.Va./Spring Valley) sandwiched around a jumper by Honig, put the Generals back up by four, 67-63, with 43 seconds to play.
A Honig triple at the four-second mark cut W&L's lead back down to two points at 69-67 and, after he stole the ensuing inbounds pass, he had the ball taken from him by W&L senior guard Kyle Bond (Boxborough, Mass./Brimmer and May) as time ran out and W&L escaped with a two-point win over Dickinson for second time in as many years.
In the first half, W&L led by as many as 19 points before taking a 41-25 lead at the break. The Generals connected on 48.0 percent (12-25) of their field goal attempts in the first 20 minutes, including 5-of-11 from beyond the arc. Dickinson, which shot a modest 45.5 percent (10-22) in the first half, upped that to 55.6 percent in the second half to finish at 51.0 (25-49) for the game. Conversely, W&L hit on just 39.1 percent (9-23) of its shot attempts in the second half as it finished at 43.8 percent (21-48) for the game. The Generals also shot just 61.3 percent (19-31) from the free throw line.
Ey led the Generals with a career-high 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting, while also grabbing a game-high 10 boards to go with four steals and three blocks. Gill added 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 3-of-4 from long range, and Whitaker chipped in eight points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Dickinson was led by Wixted, who tallied 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting and Honig, who added 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Wixted also grabbed a team-best eight rebounds and Honig had four assists and two steals.
The Generals return to action on Friday when they travel to Elms for a 6:00 pm contest.