WINCHESTER, Va. – Senior forward J.D. Ey (Charlotte, N.C. / Myers Park) totaled 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Washington and Lee men's basketball team to a 68-63 victory over Shenandoah in the ODAC-opener for both teams.
Neither team led by more than five points in the opening half as the Generals (3-1, 1-0) committed 16 first-half turnovers that led to 13 more shots by the Hornets (2-3, 0-1). First-year forward Andrew Franz (Charlotte, N.C. / Ravenscroft) gave W&L a 27-22 lead with a layup at the 4:43 mark, but the Generals could not pull away and a three-pointer by SU guard Sharif Almulla cut the W&L lead to just 30-29 at the break.
Almulla canned another three-pointer to start the second half, giving the Hornets a 32-30 lead. After an Ey layup tied the lead at 32-32, Shenandoah took its largest lead of the game (35-32) on a triple by forward Shaquille Rodney just 1:32 in to the second half.
Four straight points from junior forward Jonathan Rice (Fayetteville, N.C. / Terry Sanford) gave the Generals the lead back at 36-35 and the advantage held up until a layup by SU guard Jimi Starks tied the score at 44-44 with 11:40 left to play.
The score remained tied at 52-52 with 7:33 left to play before the Generals took the lead for good on an Ey layup at the 7:07 mark for a 54-52 lead. A three-pointer by junior guard Kevin Gill (Richmond, Va. / Benedictine) and a three-point play by Ey extended the lead to 63-56 with 3:36 remaining. Shenandoah got no closer than three-points (66-63) the rest of the way as Gill canned three free throws in the final 11 seconds to secure the win.
The Generals committed just six turnovers in the second half (22 total) and shot 46.0 percent (23-50) for the game. W&L also held a commanding 47-28 advantage on the boards. Ey was joined in double figures by sophomore guard Javon McDonald (Schaumburg, Ill. / Schaumburg), who recorded 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the foul line. Rice and Franz both added nine points, while Gill posted six points, all in the final 3:57, and grabbed seven rebounds.
Shenandoah shot just 38.5 percent (25-65) from the floor, but hit 10-of-24 (.417) three-point attempts. Almulla led the Hornets with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from distance, while guard Bryce Mitchell had 10 points.
Washington and Lee returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Randolph for a 2:00 pm contest.