Hampden-Sydney loses in ODAC semifinal, now waits on NCAA

Published 1:17 am Sunday, February 26, 2023

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Junior Davidson Hubbard scored 19 points, but 20th-ranked Hampden-Sydney College lost in a heartbreaking 70-69 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Men’s Basketball Tournament Semifinal decision Saturday night.

It came down to the last second. The 13th-ranked Guilford (NC) College Quakers won as Jorden Davis banked in a desperation three-point shot at the buzzer.

Junior Adam Brazil added 13 points for the #2 seed Tigers (21-6), and junior Alex Elliott contributed 12 points off the bench. Hampden-Sydney led 24-22 at halftime, and was ahead 59-43 with just 4:35 remaining, before GC closed the contest on a 27-10 run over the final 4:19 for the stunning victory. Tyler Dearman scored a game-high 20 points for the #3 seed Quakers (22-5), while Elijah Bowens and Myles Washington added 17 and 12 points off the bench, respectively-Davis finished with eight points.

How it started for Hampden-Sydney

Hampden-Sydney took an early 8-3 advantage at 15:10 following a pair of free throws by sophomore Ayman McGowan off the bench. The Tigers pushed their lead to 15-8 at 8:38 after a three-pointer from junior DJ Wright, and the margin was 21-12 with 4:44 left in the opening half after consecutive three-pointers by Elliott and McGowan. GC was within 21-18 at 4:04 following two quick three-pointers, the latter from Dearman, but Elliott answered with another three-pointer as the Garnet & Grey led 24-22 at the intermission.

GC tied the contest at 27-27 early in the second half at 17:28, but Hampden-Sydney responded with eight unanswered points to lead 35-27 with 15:29 left to play. Elliott and McGowan sandwiched three-pointers around a basket inside by junior Josiah Hardy. The Tigers extended their run to 18-5 and led 45-32 at 10:13 after a three-pointer by Brazil, who scored five quick points along with three points from Hubbard. The Quakers closed to within 45-37 at 7:53, but H-SC used a quick 14-6 run to lead 59-43 with just 4:35 on the clock-Hubbard connecting on a trio of three-pointers and Brazil adding one, as well.

The Garnet & Grey still led 61-47 at 3:17 after two free throws by Elliott, and the lead was 63-53 at 2:14 following a fast-break layup from Hubbard. H-SC was ahead 67-58 with just 48.1-seconds left to play after Hubbard made two free throws, but GC scored 12 of the final 14 points for the win. Bowens had seven of the late points, including a three-pointer, before Davis connected off the glass from deep on the left wing near the Quakers’ bench-after two missed free throws by the Tigers with 6.1-seconds remaining-the Garnet & Grey going 6-13 at the line over the final 1:44.

By the numbers

Hubbard led Hampden-Sydney with his 19 points, including 17 in the second half, adding six rebounds. Brazil finished with his 13 points-all in the second half-for the Tigers, adding a game-high five assists. Elliott contributed his 12 points off the bench, adding career-highs of nine rebounds and four assists, as well. McGowan added eight points off the bench, and Hardy had six points and four rebounds. H-SC shot 38% (21-56) from the field, including 43% (12-28) on three-pointers, and 63% (15-25) at the free throw line.

Dearman led GC with his game-high 20 points, adding five rebounds. Bowen had his 17 points off the bench for the Quakers, while Washington contributed his 12 points off the bench, adding five rebounds. Davis had his eight points, none bigger than the game-winning three-pointer at the horn. GC shot 41% (24-58) from the field, including 42% (10-24) on three-pointers, and 86% (12-14) at the line.

What happens next?

Hampden-Sydney will now await the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Selection Show on Monday, February 27, at 1 p.m. for a possible berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers were ranked No. 4 in Region VI of the all-important Regional Rankings, as of Feb. 21-a final regional ranking to be announced on Sunday, Feb. 26.

H-SC has enjoyed its finest season in 10 years with an overall record of 21-6, while ranked No. 20 nationally in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25. The Tigers have won 19 of their last 22 games, and the 21 overall wins, as well as the 14 conference wins, are the program’s highest win totals since 2012-13 (23-5, 14-2)-the last season that H-SC advanced to the NCAA Tournament-while only the fourth 20-win season in the last 20 years.