W&L Men's Basketball Falters at Bridgewater, 67-66 in 2 OT

BRIDGEWATER, Va. – First-year guard Zach Hunter hit a pair of free throws with eight seconds remaining in double-overtime to lift Bridgewater to a 67-66 victory over Washington and Lee in ODAC men's basketball action on Wednesday evening at Nininger Hall. 

Hunter connected on both free throw attempts with 1:48 left in the second extra session to give the Eagles (11-9, 5-6) a 65-63 lead.  However, W&L (10-10, 5-6) sophomore guard Javon McDonald (Schaumburg, Ill. / Schaumburg) hit a three-pointer with 42 seconds remaining to give the Generals a one-point lead (66-65).  Bridgewater called a timeout with eight seconds remaining on the game clock and two seconds on the shot clock to set up a look at the basket.  However, McDonald was whistled for a foul on the inbounds pass and Hunter made good from the charity stripe for the lead.  Senior forward J.D. Ey (Charlotte, N.C. / Myers Park) missed a runner from just inside the free throw line with two seconds left and the Eagles claimed the win.

The Generals seemed to be in control of the contest with 9:46 remaining in regulation as a 25-6 run gave them a commanding 48-30 lead.  First-year forward Andrew Franz (Charlotte, N.C. / Ravenscroft) nailed a pair of three-pointers and tallied 13 total points during the stretch.  However, W&L failed to score for the next 6:38, missing five field goal attempts and committing seven turnovers across that span as the Eagles used an 18-0 run, featuring five points each from sophomore guard Kyle Welty and junior guard Tavis Stapleton, to knot the game at 48-48. 

The run was part of a 23-5 surge by Bridgewater over the final 9:46 that tied the game at 63-63 following regulation.  W&L had claimed a three-point lead (63-60) following a layup by junior forward Drew Kimberly (Fairfield, Conn. / Fairfield Ludlowe) with 1:37 left, but Stapleton knotted the score with a three-pointer at the 57-second mark.  Ey missed a jumper with 24 seconds left and Stapleton missed at the buzzer, sending the game into the first overtime.

W&L missed its first two field goal attempts, failed on two front end of 1-and-1 free throws and committed three turnovers in the opening 3:24 of overtime as Bridgewater claimed an eight-point lead (61-53) with 1:36 left in the first overtime.  The Generals closed the extra frame on an 8-0 run, however, knotting the game on a three-pointer by junior guard Kevin Gill (Richmond, Va. / Benedictine), a dunk by Ey and a triple by McDonald with 1:00 remaining.  Stapleton missed a three-pointer with 21 seconds left and the Eagles got the offensive rebound, but turned the ball over with six seconds remaining.  W&L failed to get off a last second shot, sending the teams into double-overtime.

Washington and Lee shot just 39.3 percent (24-61) from the floor, but was truly hampered by 8-of-18 (.444) shooting from the foul line and 29 turnovers, 18 of which occurred in the second half and overtimes.

Franz scored a team-best 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Generals.  McDonald scored 12 points, while Ey finished with 10 points and tied a career-high with 21 rebounds.  He also had four assists, two blocks and two steals.

Stapleton scored a game-high 21 points to lead Bridgewater.  Sophomore forward Ed Reddick notched 12 points and Hunter tallied 10 points to go along with nine steals.  As a team, the Eagles finished 25-of-72 (.347) from the floor and 13-of-15 (.867) from the foul line.

Washington and Lee returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Hampden-Sydney for a 2:00 pm contest.

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