LYNCHBURG, Va. – Junior forward Jim Etling (Loveland, Colo. / Loveland) hit a three-pointer with 1:16 left to give 11th-seeded Washington and Lee the lead for good as the Generals posted a 66-62 win over sixth-seeded Randolph in the opening round of the ODAC Men's Basketball Tournament on Tuesday evening at the RAD Center.
The Generals (7-19) trailed by six points (55-49) with 6:41 remaining following back-to-back three-pointers from Randolph (15-11) senior guard Mike Ehilegbu and sophomore forward Jason Eddie. W&L then took the lead back (56-55) following a 7-0 run that featured four points from sophomore forward Andrew Franz (Charlotte, N.C. / Ravenscroft) and a three-pointer by first-year guard Andy Kleinlein (Chesterfield, Mo. / Chaminade College Prep).
Randolph snatched the advantage back on a three-pointer by Eddie on the ensuing possession and held a 60-58 lead with 1:53 remaining following a pair of free throws by sophomore guard Evan Horn. Kleinlein found an open Etling at the elbow who drained a triple that gave the Generals a lead they would not relinquish. Sophomore forward Darren Douglas (Elmsford, N.Y. / Rye Country Day) then recorded a steal on the other end and Kleinlein drilled a three from the corner with 31 seconds left for a 64-60 lead.
Randolph sophomore guard Corey Brown cut it to two (64-62) on a layup with eight seconds left, but Etling calmly hit two free throws with seven seconds left to lift the Generals to their first win over the WildCats in the last eight meetings. The victory also came just six days after the Blue & White fell to Randolph, 80-57, at the RAD Center on Wednesday.
W&L jumped out to a 7-2 lead to start the game and held it until the WildCats scored with seven seconds left to assume a 25-23 lead at the break. Randolph pushed out to a seven-point lead (36-29) with 15:37 left to play, but a 13-3 run sparked by six points from senior guard Kevin Gill (Richmond, Va. / Benedictine) and five points from Kleinlein gave W&L its first lead of the second half (42-39) with 11:46 remaining. The Generals did not trail again until the back-to-back three's by Ehilegbu and Eddie around the seven-minute mark of the second half set up the exciting finish.
As a team, W&L shot 40.7 percent (22-54) from the floor and 8-of-18 (.444) from beyond the arc. The Generals also committed just eight turnovers and held a 39-32 advantage on the glass.
Franz led W&L with 19 points, six rebounds and three assists. Kleinlein totaled a career-high 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including 4-of-5 from three-point range. Senior forward Drew Kimberly (Fairfield, Conn. / Fairfield Ludlowe) notched 12 points and nine boards, while Etling finished with 10 points and five rebounds.
Ehilegbu paced the WildCats with 15 points and five rebounds. Eddie finished with 12 markers, while Brown totaled 10 points. For the game, W&L limited Randolph to just 36.2 percent (21-58) shooting.
Washington and Lee will return to action in the quarterfinals of the ODAC Tournament from the Salem Civic Center on Friday. The Generals will play third-seeded Guilford at 8:00 pm.