LYNCHBURG, Va. — Senior forward Clayton Murtha (Dallas, Texas/Highland Park) made a turnaround layup with 1.8 seconds remaining in the game to give the Washington and Lee men's basketball team an 83-81 victory at Lynchburg on Thursday at Turner Gymnasium.
With 1:09 left on the clock, the score was tied, 81-81, but the Generals (8-4, 3-0 ODAC) controlled possession. Following a W&L timeout, junior guard Devin Kearns (Cibolo, Texas/Samuel Clemens) missed a jumper with 40 seconds left, but junior guard Alex Starr (Upper Saddle River, N.J./Northern Highlands Regional) secured the rebound to give the Blue and White another opportunity.
W&L then held the ball at the top of the key with just a second difference between the game clock and shot clock. Eventually, the Generals dumped the ball down to Murtha in the post on the near side with the clock winding under 10 seconds.
Murtha methodically backed down his defender, and then pivoted off his left foot into the paint, dropping in a right-handed layup with 1.8 left on the clock for the game-winner. The Hornets' last-second heave from half court came up well short, and the Generals came away with the victory.
Murtha led all players with a season-high 26 points to go with seven rebounds. Kearns contributed 19 points, while senior forward Nicholas George (Charleston, W.Va./Charleston Catholic) added 15 points and eight rebounds.
Junior forward Connor Schroeder tallied 24 points and nine boards to pace the Hornets (6-6, 0-3 ODAC), and sophomore guard Chance Greene totaled 15 points and four steals.
The teams were tied, 75-75, with just under five minutes remaining in the contest, but a three-pointer at the top of the key by Schroeder gave LC a three-point edge at the 4:41 mark. After empty possessions for both teams, Murtha brought the Generals to within one (78-77) with a layup.
Following a Lynchburg timeout, Schroeder was fouled attempting a layup, but missed both free throws to give the Blue and White the ball. W&L took advantage, as junior forward Roy McMillan (Raleigh, N.C./Broughton) drove the lane for a two-handed slam to put the Generals up one, 79-78, with 2:43 remaining.
Junior guard Devante' Young quickly answered with a driving layup to push LC back in front, 80-79, with 2:34 on the clock. Murtha responded with another layup, while being fouled, but missed the free throw to give W&L an 81-80 advantage at the 2:24 mark.
Each team failed to register points on their next two possessions, and then sophomore guard Chance Green was fouled attempting a layup with 1:09 left in the game. A 90 percent free throw shooter, Green split the pair to knot the game at 81-81, which set up the end of the game heroics for Murtha.
W&L shot just 42.9 percent (30-of-70) from the floor, but made 11-of-23 (47.8 percent) attempts from long range. The Hornets went 31-of-70 (44.3 percent) from the field and 10-of-28 (35.7 percent) from downtown.
This marked the first win for the Blue and White over the Hornets since 2012, and W&L is now 3-0 in the ODAC for the first time since the 1988-89 season.
The Generals return to action on Sunday, when they host Bridgewater at 2:00 pm.
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