RALEIGH, N.C. — Playing in his hometown, senior forward Roy McMillan (Raleigh, N.C./Broughton) totaled 33 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Washington and Lee men's basketball team to a season-opening, 85-75, win at William Peace on Sunday at the Hermann Athletic Center.
The Generals (1-0) held a 38-37 lead at halftime, but after three minutes of play in the second, the team trailed, 43-40. Following a Blue and White timeout, McMillan drained a three-pointer from the top of the key to even the contest (43-43) with 17:18 left in the half. The bucket started a 9-2 run for W&L, with McMillan notching seven of the points, and senior guard Devin Kearns (Cibolo, Texas/Samuel Clemens) capping the spurt with a layup to give the Generals a 49-45 advantage with 16:03 on the clock.
The lead hovered between four and nine points over the next few minutes, with the Pacers (0-1) trimming the margin to five (55-50) after a layup by junior forward Trey Bryant at the 11:55 mark. On W&L's next two possessions, first-year guard Tevin Panchal (Belmont, Calif./Spire Academy) splashed a triple in front of his own bench and made a driving left-handed layup to extend the Blue and White lead to 60-50 with 10:49 left in the contest.
The Generals margin did not drop below seven points again until Bryant sunk a pair of free throws with 4:13 on the clock to pull William Peace to within five (72-67). Both teams came up empty on their next possession, but jumper with a foot on the three-point line by sophomore guard William Brueggeman (Houston, Texas/Strake Jesuit College Prep) stretched the advantage back to seven, 74-67, at the 3:08 mark.
A tip-in by junior guard Mikal Gaylord cut the deficit to 74-69 with 2:44 remaining in the game, but McMillan answered with his own putback bucket to regain a seven-point margin (76-69) for W&L. Bryant drove in for a layup (76-71) with 1:57 to go in the contest, and then junior forward Tyson Sellers stole the ball at the top of the key to give the Pacers a fast break opportunity.
First-year guard Mark Lamendola (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) thwarted the two-on-one advantage with a steal of his own, and then fired the ball up the court to a sprinting McMillan. McMillan glided in for a fast-break layup to push the Generals back in front by seven (78-71) with 1:37 on the clock. William Peace played the foul game over the last few possessions, but could not manufacture a comeback, as W&L held on for an 85-75 victory.
McMillan shot 9-of-17 from the field, 3-of-7 from downtown and 12-of-14 from the foul line to total his 33 points. He missed tying his career high of 35, set last season in an overtime contest, by just two points. McMillan also had two blocks and two steals.
Kearns finished the game with 13 points, five assists and six rebounds. Brueggeman recorded 13 points, and sophomore forward Curtis Mitchell (Chevy Chase, Md./Georgetown Prep) had eight rebounds and five blocks. Lamendola notched nine points, five steals and three assists in his first collegiate game.
Bryant led the Pacers with 22 points and a game-high 17 rebounds. Sellers added 12 points and seven rebounds.
WPU held a 56-46 advantage in rebounds, but W&L contained the Pacers to just 28.7 percent (23-of-80) from the floor. William Peace also made just 7-of-34 shots (20.6 percent) from long range.
The Blue and White was 29-of-68 (42.6 percent) from the floor and 7-of-28 (25.0 percent) from beyond the arc. W&L also recorded 14 steals, which marked the highest single-game total for the program since registering 16 against Bridgewater on December 2, 2009.
The Generals return to action on Friday, when they take on Dickinson at 8:00 pm at the Rose City Classic hosted by Drew University.
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