LEXINGTON, Va. – The Washington and Lee men's basketball team built a 24-point lead by halftime and cruised to an 83-57 win over Methodist in game one of the W&L Invitational on Thursday afternoon at the Warner Center.
W&L (6-4) began the game hitting four of its first five shots from the floor, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, to open up an 11-0 lead by the 16:49 mark. Methodist got on the board when junior forward Kyle Combs (Fayetteville, N.C./Gray's Creek) knocked down a triple with 16:29 to play and a jumper by sophomore guard Bryan Hockaday (Wilmington, N.C./Ashley) trimmed the Monarchs' (3-8) deficit to six points (11-5) at the 15:17 mark.
In the opening period, the Generals shot a blistering 60.0 percent (18-30) from the field, including 9-of-14 (.643) from beyond the arc. Ey was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field and McDonald was 4-for-5 from the floor in the first 20 minutes as each player scored 13 first-half points.
In the second period, W&L extended its lead to as many as 35 points as it cruised to the 26-point win, the Generals' 13th consecutive win in the W&L Invitational. For the game, W&L shot 56.6 percent (30-53) from the floor and connected on 13-of-24 (.542) shots from beyond the arc, one short of tying the school record for made triples in a contest. MU finished the contest hitting on just 32.2 percent (19-59) of it field goal attempts, including an 0-for-10 shooting performance by sophomore guard James Whitehead (Columbia, S.C./Dreher). Whitehead had entered the game as the Monarch's leading scorer, averaging 18.8 points per game.
McDonald finished with a game-high 18 points, Ey finished with 16 points and junior forward Jeremy Adkins (Huntington, W.Va./Spring Valley) added 15 points on 5-for-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Sophomore center Drew Kimberly (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Ludlowe) chipped in nine points and six rebounds. Ey also grabbed nine boards, handed out five assists and blocked three shots.
The Monarchs were led by Combs, who netted 14 points. Sophomore guard Tyre Blakely (Hampstead, N.C./Topsail) added eight points off the bench for the Monarchs. Senior guard Mark Jernigan (Greensboro, N.C./Eastern Guilford) chipped in seven points, six rebounds and a pair of assists.
With the win, W&L advances to the championship game of the W&L Invitational on Friday where it will take on Juniata at 4:00 pm. The Eagles defeated Gettysburg, 59-45, in the second game of the tournament.