JERSEY CITY, N.J. — The Washington and Lee men's basketball team trimmed a 26-point first-half deficit to six late in the second, but the team's rally ultimately came up short in an 88-73 loss to Drew on Saturday in the championship game of the Rose City Classic at New Jersey City University.
The Rangers (3-0) blitzed the Generals (2-1) in the opening minutes of the first half, grabbing a 13-0 lead with 16:24 left in the period. W&L put its first points on the board at the 15:23 mark on a jumper by senior guard Alex Starr (Upper Saddle River, N.J./Northern Highlands Regional), but the Drew onslaught continued with the Blue and White trailing, 29-5, after the first 10 minutes of play. Junior guard Riley Collins scored 11 of his game-high 35 points during that opening span.
The Generals found themselves down 26, 39-13, with 7:03 remaining until halftime, but cut the margin to 50-31 at intermission. W&L was still behind by 19, 56-37, with 14:59 on the clock in the second half, but a layup by senior forward Roy McMillan (Raleigh, N.C./Broughton) ignited a 12-0 run for the Blue and White over the next four minutes to pull the team within seven (56-49).
Drew extended its advantage back to 13, 69-56, with 6:37 left in the contest, but the Generals made one final push in the closing minutes. After being fouled on a three-point attempt, Starr sunk all three freebies to cut the deficit to 10 (69-59) with 6:23 on the clock. Senior guard Devin Kearns (Cibolo, Texas/Samuel Clemens) was then sent to the line on the team's next possession and netted both to bring W&L to within eight, 69-61.
A block by sophomore forward Curtis Mitchell (Chevy Chase, Md./Georgetown Prep) led to a fast break dunk by McMillan, and the Generals trailed by just six (69-63) with 5:26 remaining in the game. The Rangers called timeout to stymie the Blue and White momentum, and came out of the stoppage with four straight points to regain a double-digit advantage (73-63).
A three-pointer by Kearns on the next trip down pulled W&L to within seven, 73-66, at the 4:18 mark, but Drew answered with five straight points over the next two minutes to put the game away en route to the 15-point victory.
Kearns led the Generals with 17 points and five rebounds, and he was named to the all-tournament following the game. Mitchell notched his first double-double of the year with 11 points and 10 rebounds to go with four blocks. McMillan totaled 11 points and seven boards.
W&L shot just 32.4 percent (23-of-71) from the field, while the Rangers connected on 27-of-55 attempts (49.1 percent) from the floor. Drew also finished at 50.0 percent (10-of-20) from long range and 80.0 percent (24-of-30) from the foul line.
The Blue and White was 10-of-40 (25.0 percent) from downtown, and 17-of-20 (85.0 percent) from the charity stripe. The 40 attempts from beyond the arc tied the single-game program record set last season against William Peace on December 6, 2017.
Collins shot 11-of-17 from the floor, 4-of-6 from three and 9-of-10 from the line on his way to 35 points. He also had six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Senior forward Sky Harris had 12 points off the bench.
The Generals next compete at Southern Virginia on Tuesday at 7:00 pm.
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