LEXINGTON, Va. – Washington and Lee battled back from a 20-point first-half deficit, but could never get over the hump in falling to Lynchburg, 68-67, on Saturday afternoon at the Warner Center.
The Generals (6-6, 1-2) shot just 21.9 percent in the first half, trailing 37-17 with 3:12 left in the opening stanza en route to a 41-25 deficit at the break.
W&L chipped away at the Lynchburg (11-2, 2-2) lead early in the second half and pulled to within seven points (50-43) following a three-pointer by sophomore guard Javon McDonald (Schaumburg, Ill./Schaumburg) and a layup by first-year guard Darren Douglas (Elmsford, N.Y./Rye Country Day) with 13:28 left in the game.
The Hornets pushed back out to an 11-point lead (62-51) on a jump shot by senior forward Michael Wims with 5:57 to play, but W&L used a 9-2 run over the next 2:16 to make it a 64-60 game with 3:41 left. McDonald scored seven points during the stretch, including five straight to begin the run.
Senior guard Brandan Connor converted a layup at 3:09 to give LC a 66-60 lead, but McDonald canned his sixth three-pointer of the game to pull the Generals within a single possession of tying the game (66-63). Senior forward J.D. Ey (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) sliced it to a 66-65 game with a dunk at the 1:46 mark, but junior guard Xavier Parham drilled a pair of free throws to give the Hornets a 68-65 lead with 1:27 to play.
A McDonald layup made it a 68-67 game with 1:03 remaining and the Hornets missed a three-pointer and stick-back with 31 seconds left setting up a final possession for W&L. Douglas fired a three-pointer that rimmed in-and-out with 11 seconds left and Wims grabbed the rebound to clinch the win for Lynchburg, its second-straight over the Generals.
W&L shot 43.8 percent from the floor in the second half, while holding the Hornets to just 27.6 shooting in the second stanza. However, the Generals were limited by making just 16-of-28 free throws (.571) in the contest. McDonald led W&L with a season-high 25 points on 6-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc. Junior forward Larry Whitaker (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) notched eight points and a season-high 12 rebounds, while first-year Andrew Franz (Charlotte, N.C./Ravenscroft) contributed eight points. Ey chipped in seven points, seven rebounds, three blocks and two assists.
Senior guard Mike Glover led Lynchburg with 10 points and seven rebounds. Connor, Parham, Wims and senior center Austin Chillemi each scored nine points, while Wims and Chillemi both grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
Washington and Lee returns to action on Wednesday when it travels to Eastern Mennonite for a 7:00 pm contest.