Generals Outlast Juniata, 93-89 2OT, in Men's Hoops
LEXINGTON, Va. -- First-year guard Javon McDonald (Schaumburg, Ill./Schaumburg) scored 23 points and Junior forward J.D. Ey (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) netted 22 points as Washington and Lee outlasted Juniata, 93-89 in double overtime, in men's basketball action on Friday evening at the Warner Center.
Juniata (9-3) opened a two-point lead (85-83) early in the second OT, before Ey and McDonald led the Generals (7-4) on a 10-4 game-ending scoring run to help W&L improve to 14-0 all-time in the W&L Invitational. The double-overtime contest was the Generals' first such game since the quarterfinal round of the ODAC Tournament in 2009, an 82-76 win over Guilford.
After sophomore guard Lucas Mellott (Warfordsburg, Pa./Southern Fulton) gave the Eagles the aforementioned two-point lead in the second extra frame, Ey tied the ballgame at 85-85 with a layup on the Generals' next possession. Two possessions later, McDonald stepped in front of Juniata junior guard Alex Raymond (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Altoona) drawing a charge and giving possession back to W&L. Sophomore guard Kevin Gill (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) responded with a triple that gave the Generals an 88-85 lead with 2:08 to play.
On the Eagles' next possession, McDonald took another charge, this one from sophomore guard Jeremy Hays (McMechen, W. Va./John Marshall), to give possession back to W&L. However, a General turnover led to a bucket for senior guard Dan Sekulski (Douglassville, Pa./Daniel Boone Area) that trimmed the W&L lead to one point at 88-87 with 1:22 to play.
The Generals and Eagles traded baskets on consecutive possessions, putting the score at 90-89 in favor of W&L with 28 seconds to play. Inbounding the ball beneath the Juniata basket, an errant pass by W&L sophomore center Drew Kimberly (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Ludlowe) gave the ball back to Juniata beneath its own basket. Despite several cracks at the basket, the Eagles were unable to score and a steal by sophomore forward Larry Whitaker (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) led to a free throw by junior guard Kelton Buchanan (Powder Springs, Ga./Hillgrove) with 10 seconds to play that put the Generals up a pair (91-89). Juniata had one last chance to tie or take the lead, but Raymond's jump shot with two seconds remaining was blocked by Ey, who grabbed the defensive rebound and was fouled. He then hit a pair of free throws with 0.6 seconds on the clock to seal the 93-89 win.
Juniata sophomore forward Brian Scholly (State College, Pa./State College) hit a 16-foot jumper as time expired in the first overtime as the Eagles rallied from a four-point deficit in the final seven seconds to force the second overtime. W&L also a gave away a four-point lead in the final 46 seconds of regulation, as the Generals made good on just 9-of-14 free throws in the first overtime and the final minute of regulation.
The game's frantic final minutes capped what had been an evenly played game throughout. Neither team led by more than eight points and the contest featured 13 ties and 13 lead changes.
The Generals finished the first half on a 7-2 scoring run, capped by a layup by McDonald with 52 seconds to play that gave W&L a 37-35 advantage at the break.
In the second period, W&L took its largest lead of the game, eight points (57-49), with 9:17 to play on a dunk by Ey, but the Eagles used a 9-1 scoring run to tie the game at 58-58 on a Sekulski layup with 6:05 to play to set up the final moments.
McDonald's 23 points marked a new career-high. He connected on 4-of-7 three-point attempts and was 9-of-12 from the free throw line. In addition to his 22 points, Ey blocked a school-record tying seven shots, none bigger than the one at the end of the game. He also added six boards, four assists and two steals en route to tournament MVP honors. Gill finished with 12 points and Kimberly added 10 points. Junior forward Jeremy Adkins (Huntington, W.Va./Spring Valley) chipped in nine points, a career-high nine rebounds and four assists.
The Eagles were led by sophomore guard Kevin Stapleton (Indiana, Pa./Indiana), who netted 19 points, 11 in the first half, on 7-of-19 shooting, including 5-of-7 from long range. Sekulski and Hays each scored 18 and Raymond finished with 13 markers. Sekulski added four rebounds, four assists and four steals, and Stapleton had five rebounds. Sekulski was named to the all-tournament team and was joined by Mark Jernigan of Methodist and Joe Emerusabe of Gettysburg.
Gettysburg defeated Methodist, 84-72, in the consolation game.
The Generals return to action on Sunday when they host Hampden-Sydney at 2:00 pm.