SALEM, Va. – The 11th-seeded Washington and Lee men's basketball team jumped out to a 12-0 lead to start the game and never trailed en route to a 77-70 win over third-seeded Guilford in the quarterfinals of the ODAC Tournament on Friday evening at the Salem Civic Center.
The Generals (8-19) become the first 11 seed to ever advance to the league tournament semifinals, where they will meet second-seeded Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday at 8:00 pm.
W&L shot 56.0 percent (14-25) from the floor in the first half, hitting five of its first six shots from the field in opening the double-digit lead early. The lead swelled to as many 14 points (33-19) following a three-pointer by sophomore forward Andrew Franz (Charlotte, N.C./Ravenscroft) at the 8:28 mark.
Guilford (17-9) responded with an 11-4 run over the next 4:05 that cut it to a seven-point contest (37-30) with 4:23 left in the stanza, but W&L held the Quakers scoreless for the remainder of the half and senior center Drew Kimberly (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Ludlowe) dropped in a pair of layups for a 41-30 lead at the break.
The Generals lead grew to 16 points (52-36) following a pair of free throws by junior forward Jim Etling (Loveland, Colo./Loveland) with 13:56 remaining, but Guilford gained momentum with a 13-3 run that cut it to 55-49 with 8:07 left to play. Senior forward Jake Hopkins sparked the run with five straight points, and the Quakers continued to chip away until they made it a five-point game (57-52) on a three-pointer by first-year forward Trevor Hyatt with 7:05 left.
W&L responded with an 8-0 run that featured three Kimberly layups and a layup by senior guard Kevin Gill (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) that pushed the lead back to double-digits (65-52) with 4:50 left.
Kimberly's final layup of the run at the 4:50 mark was the Generals' last field goal of the game, but W&L's free throw shooting maintained its advantage down the stretch. Guilford sent the Generals to the line 14 times in the final 3:09 of the game, and with the aid of a few turnovers, managed to cut it to a four-point game (74-70) following two free throws by Hyatt. However, W&L hit 12 of its 14 charity tosses to hold on for the seven-point victory, its first win over the Quakers in three tries this season.
The Generals cooled off to 32.0 percent (8-25) shooting in the second half, but hit 26-of-34 (.765) free throws, including 18-of-23 (.783) in the final 20 minutes. Kimberly tied his career-high with 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting. He also corralled eight rebounds. Franz notched his first career double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Gill totaled 14 points and a career-high eight rebounds.
Guilford was led by sophomore center Zeb Richardson's 17 points. Hopkins tallied 12 points and nine boards. As a team, Guilford was limited to just 34.9 percent shooting (22-63) and was out-rebounded by the Generals, 42-35.
The Generals will look to advance to their first ODAC Championship game in five seasons when they take on the Marlins on Saturday evening.