LEXINGTON, Va. – Ferrum College recovered from a 16-point halftime deficit to post a 77-72 victory over Washington and Lee in the opening game of the W&L Men's Basketball Tip-Off Tournament on Friday at the Warner Center.
The Generals (0-1) shot 55.9 percent (19-34) in the first half, closing the opening 20 minutes with a 15-0 run to assume a 46-30 lead at the break. Senior guard Kevin Gill (Richmond, Va. / Benedictine) scored the final five points on the half to finish the opening stanza with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting.
After a scoreless first half in which he was saddled with two early fouls, junior forward Jamal Pullen (Alexandria, Va. / T.C. Williams) scored the first five points of the second half, keying a 19-6 Ferrum run that sliced the W&L lead to just three points (52-49) at the 13:28 mark.
W&L scored two-straight baskets to push back out to a 7-point lead (56-49) and maintained a 66-61 advantage with just 3:45 left in the contest. However, the Panthers used a jumper and a three-pointer by sophomore guard Jordan Mann (Mebane, N.C. / East Alamance) to knot the game at 69-69 with 2:43 remaining. After the Generals missed a three-pointer with 2:27 left, Pullen drilled another triple seven seconds later to cap an 8-0 run and give the Panthers their first of the game (69-66) with 2:20 to play.
The Generals cut it to a 1-point game (69-68) on a pair of free throws by senior forward Drew Kimberly (Fairfield, Conn. / Fairfield Ludlowe) with 1:15 to play, but Ferrum knocked down 8-of-11 charity tosses in the final 1:14 to hold on for the win.
Washington and Lee shot just 35.7 percent (10-28) in the second half and committed 13 turnovers in the final 20 minutes. Gill led the way with 19 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the floor. Kimberly finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore forward Andrew Franz (Charlotte, N.C. / Ravenscroft) and junior guard Clay McLean (Charlotte, N.C. / Davidson Day) tallied 13 points each.
Ferrum shot 57.7 percent (15-26) in the second half, including 7-of-11 (.636) from distance. Sophomore guard Ricky Estrada (Austin, Texas / Florida State College) and sophomore center Rashawn Speas (Winston-Salem, N.C. / Pfieffer University) both scored a team-high 13 points, while senior guard Brian Clarke (Suffolk, Va. / Patrick Henry CC) finished with 12 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. Pullen added 11 points and five boards.
Washington and Lee will return to action in the consolation game of the tournament on Saturday. The Generals will play either Southern Virginia or Defiance at 2:00 pm.