ODACcess Rapid Recap: #11 W&L Pulls Another Upset, Downs #3 Guilford

SALEM, Va. — We’ve told you about possibly the ODAC’s best story, Washington and Lee forward Jim Etling. We’ve told you about W&L’s surprising upset win over Randolph in the opening round of the ODAC Tournament. What’s left to say about the Generals’ even bigger upset, a 77-70 victory over #3 Guilford in Friday’s quarterfinals?

Not much. No General was particularly flashy in the win–Andrew Franz was his usual self, scoring points in bunches and finishing with 17 so quietly that barely anyone noticed, and ODAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Drew Kimberly paced all scorers with a neat 24 points on 17 shots–and although Guilford made it close several times late, the victor never seemed in much doubt to us, because the Generals were the superior squad.

There were a few moments that might’ve made a passionate W&L fan nervous, however. One such moment occurred at roughly the seven minute mark of the second half. A Trever Hyatt triple had just cut Guilford’s deficit to 5, the W&L fans behind us began to get anxious.

But then Kimberly made two buckets from underneath the basket, and when Kevin Gill picked Jake Hopkins’ pocket and drove the length of the floor himself, pushing the advantage back to double-digits, the Generals looked they could defeat anyone. Kimberly capped off the run with another contested shot in the paint to make put Washington and Lee up 13 once more, 65-52.

The Quakers made a few important baskets and kept things close thereafter, but never managed to get closer than within 4 from that point forward.

But Guilford made WLU earn it at the end. The Quakers switched to a full-court press with about two minutes left, and it was very effective, causing two jump balls and a WLU timeout in quick succession. But Generals Coach Hutchinson must have figured out the optimal strategy to break it: spring Kleinlein down the court on the inbounds. After embracing that strategy, his team started to break the press, hit their free-throws down the stretch, and came away with yet another upset win. Their path gets no easier from here: they will play #2 Va. Wesleyan tomorrow in the second semifinal. For now, though, they can rest on yet another upset victory.

  • Final: #11 Washington and Lee 77, #3 Guilford 70
  • Player of the Game: Drew Kimberly (W&L) (24 points on 17 shots, 8 rebounds)

ODACcess Rapid Recap: #2 VWC Takes Care of Business

SALEM, Va. — We just aren’t going to get a close ODAC tournament quarterfinal, are we? Well, at least this one was a little different–the higher-seeded squad won.

DJ Woodmore and Khory Moore combined for 45 points with Woodmore contributing 8 rebounds as the second-seeded Virginia Wesleyan Marlins trounced the seventh-seeded Bridgewater Eagles, 91-70, to advance to the ODAC Tournament semifinals on Friday night.

It was a showcase of the old and the new, as Woodmore, a senior and ODAC Player of the Year, worked with Moore, the conference’s Rookie of the Year, to take down the Eagles. “As soon as [Moore] stepped on campus, I knew he was a special player,” Woodmore said after the game. “I’ve just encouraged him to stay humble and stay hungry.”

For Moore, everything comes down to his coaching. “[Coach Macedo] expects perfection,” said Moore, and it was clear that the quest for perfection was a driving force in Moore’s game. “He was always in my ear, encouraging to play to my potential, be the best player I can be.” Moore noted that Macedo inspired his rookie to expand beyond his role as a shooter, and get involved in all facets of the game.

It was a true wire-to-wire victory for the Marlins, who needed this win to stay in contention for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament if they fail to cut down the nets after Sunday’s conference tournament final. Sedric Nady opened the evening’s scoring with one of the team’s 14 three-pointers and his team never looked back.

It was also an all-around victory. The Marlins were dominant from inside the arc and, particularly, outside it (14-for-28 on three-point attempts), on the glass (+15 rebounding differential; VWC had almost as many offensive boards (18) as the Eagles had defensive boards (19)), at the line (86%), and in ball distribution (15 assists to BC’s 8). Pretty much the only stat category the Marlins didn’t win was turnovers, as they were narrowly edged, 13-10, in that department.

As with Hampden-Sydney’s win over Randolph-Macon and Eastern Mennonite’s besting of Lynchburg, this was sweet revenge for a regular-season defeat for Va. Wesleyan. Bridgewater quite unexpectedly took down then-D3hoops.com-#15 VWC in January, in a game the Marlins really should have won. The fans who traveled to Salem all the way from Virginia Beach to support their Marlins on this night were a small contingent, but they were passionate and creative. They were rewarded with an emphatic message from their squad: we may have fallen out of the national rankings several weeks ago, but we aren’t about to go away quietly.


For their efforts, the Marlins move on to the semifinals, where they will face the winner of tonight’s final game between #3 Guilford and #11 Washington and Lee tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m.


  • Final: #2 Virginia Wesleyan Marlins 91, #7 Bridgewater Eagles 70
  • Co-Players of the Game: Khory Moore (25 points) and DJ Woodmore (20 points, 8 rebounds)

ODACcess Rapid Recap: Falk Sets Rebounding Record As EMU Advances

SALEM, Va. — The only time Lynchburg and Eastern Mennonite faced off the in regular season, way back on November 23, LC’s Manny Hernandez scored 28 points en route to a 107-87 rout of the Royals. EMU returned the favor in the ODAC Tournament quarterfinals.

David Falk led the way with an ODAC-record 28 rebounds to go with 16 points and two blocks, Ryan Yates paced all scorers with 34 points on 17 shots, and Marcel Crump chipped in 16 points of his own as the fifth-seeded Royals knocked off the fourth-seeded Hornets, 93-81, in the second Friday quarterfinal at Salem Civic Center.


“I had a chip on my shoulder,” Yates said. “I’m as good a player as anyone in the conference, and I didn’t feel like we were getting the recognition we deserved.”

With the exception of a 2-2 tie, the Royals led wire-to-wire. EMU bought itself some early breathing room from the 12:40 mark on, using a 19-2 run to go out in front 30-11. Lynchburg went off for 10 straight after that point, but the Royals immediately responded. Falk threw down a dunk, beginning a spurt where the fifth seed scored 11 of the half’s final 13 points.

The game was more notable for its rarities than for its competitiveness (which it lacked). Falk produced a beautiful, clean block in the second half after being called for goaltending on a similar play in the first; Crump took advantage of LC confusion in transition to rise and slam a thunderous alley-oop; we saw our first blocked three-point attempt of the year, as EMU’s Woody Furbrush turned away a Daniel Rowe try; and in one of the more odd stats of the day, three free-throw attempts were airballed, with one failing to even touch the net.


One of those failures from the line belonged to Falk, but it didn’t matter. He was a machine on the defensive glass, not letting Lynchburg get second-chance opportunities. On a night where the Hornets shot just 36% from the floor, that alone made the difference. Thanks to his efforts, Eastern Mennonite advances to tomorrow’s semifinal against #8 Hampden-Sydney.


  • Final: #5 Eastern Mennonite Royals 93, #4 Lynchburg Hornets 81
  • Player of the Game: David Falk (EMU) (ODAC-record 28 rebounds, 16 points, 2 blocks)

ODACcess Rapid Recap: Williamson Powers #8 H-SC’s Upset of #1 R-MC

SALEM, Va. — Upsets happen in college basketball, particularly in February and March. They just don’t usually happen like this.

The eighth-seeded Tigers of Hampden-Sydney took down the top-seeded Randolph-Macon Yellow Jackets, 68-55, in a thrilling opener to the ODAC quarterfinals at Salem Civic Center.

For a time, it didn’t even look like it would be that close. The Tigers opened the contest on a 12-0 run and eventually scored 28 of the game’s first 36 points, drilling threes and hitting from the paint in equal doses, and it appeared Macon had no answer.


But the Yellow Jackets, the only men’s ODAC team ranked in the D3hoops Top-25, were resilient in the final minutes of the first half. Macon finished the first on a 13-3 run, including the final 8 points of the period, and trailed just 31-21 entering the locker room.

The Tigers clearly felt the pressure, particularly in the middle-to-end of the second. While star and newly-named All-ODAC First Team member Khobi Williamson sat on the bench with three fouls, Macon took advantage of H-SC’s lack of size, pushing into the paint and drawing fouls at a rate that really, really irked the Tiger fans seated behind press row. The Jackets chipped away at the Hampden-Sydney advantage, first to 10, then into single digits, and finally taking it all the way down to just three, at 55-52, on a Trent Walker free-throw with 4:53 left to go.

“I felt my season slipping away,” Williamson, a senior, said about sitting on the bench while Macon mounted its comeback. “That really gave me motivation to get out there and make the most of what time was left.”

That motivation turned into an exceptional late-game performance. Williamson became the first Tiger to get to the line all afternoon after the Jackets cut the lead to three, and hit both. He proceeded to knock down both parts of the 1-and-1 on the next trip down the floor. He completed the single-handed 6-0 run with a brilliant contested shot from under the rim with the shot clock expiring.


He would push the lead back to 10 a little while later, and Mike Murray sealed the #8-over-#1 upset with 3-of-4 from the charity stripe with under a minute to play. H-SC advances to play #5 Eastern Mennonite, which knocked off Lynchburg in the second quarterfinal.


The Yellow Jackets, meanwhile, will have to wait until Monday to see if this loss burst their NCAA Tournament bubble.

  • Final: #8 Hampden-Sydney 68, #1 Randolph-Macon 55
  • Player of the Game: Khobi Williamson (H-SC) (22 points on 9-for-13 shooting, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals)

ODACcess: A February Free-for-All (Washington & Lee @ Randolph)

LYNCHBURG, Va. — Forget Christmas. This is the most wonderful time of the year–conference tournament time!

Conference tournaments are great because everything resets. Not completely, of course–the regular season matters, as it sets seeding for the tournament, gives some teams byes, and in some conferences (though not the ODAC), a few teams at the bottom of the standings see their seasons end before the tourney begins. Those caveats aside, the beauty of conference tournaments is that any team, no matter how poorly they’ve played or how soundly they’ve been defeated in the regular season, can make a run, win a few games, and obtain the ultimate prize: a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

In the ODAC, the top four teams receive byes into the quarterfinals, while teams ranked fifth through twelfth duke it out at campus sites in the first round. Making the quarters in the ODAC is particularly exciting, as it is the only Division III conference to have its tournament at a neutral site–and not just any neutral site, but the Salem Civic Center, home of the NCAA Final Four in just over a month. It was against that backdrop that ODACcess returned to the first ODAC gym we visited this year, the RAD Center at Randolph College, for a first round game between the sixth-seeded hometown WildCats and the #11 Generals of Washington and Lee.


This one should not have been close. Randolph had won 10 of its 11 matchups against W&L all-time, including both this year. In their second regular-season matchup, just six days prior to this game, the WildCats sunk a school-record 17 three-pointers en route to an 80-57 walloping of the Generals. However, as the nice Randolph fans we met at the Texas Inn (aside: which is fantastic, try the Cheesy Western) after the game so astutely noted, it’s simply very difficult to beat a team three times in one season. In particular, Washington and Lee came prepared to guard the perimeter, and it paid off in the first half.


This is usually the part where we’d either discuss the first half (to give the reader a sense of the early action) or describe the arena and its environs (to give the reader a sense of the atmosphere). But the latter description seems redundant, as we’ve done that before. As for describing the action, well, let’s just say it’s not worth your time. Neither team played poorly in the half–to the contrary, both teams played solid defense, and their respective offenses did an admirable job poking small holes in those defenses to get the ball into the paint or find the occasional open shooter beyond the arc–but Lady Luck smiled on neither side early in the night. In stark contrast to the 41 first-half points the WildCats posted in their most recent matchup with the Generals, the teams combined to shoot just 32% (19-for-59) in the opening frame, and RC limped to a 25-23 edge at the break.

But lest you think this game was a dud, the action really picked up early in the second. Evan Horn opened the frame with a layup, sparking an 11-6 run giving Randolph its largest lead of the night at seven, 36-29. Not content to let this one get away, W&L responded with 13 of the next 16 points to tie the game for the first time in a long time, and Andy Kleinlein capped off the spurt with a triple to give the Generals a 42-39 advantage with under 12 minutes to go. Kleinlein was a breath of fresh air off the bench for Washington and Lee, knocking down 4-of-5 three-point attempts on the night. Two of those treys came in the ensuing six minutes, as he and teammate Andrew Franz combined for 12 of the Generals’ 14 points during that period–important points indeed, as Randolph’s Mike Ehilegbu and Eddie Jason were mounting a strong charge at the time.


The result of all this was a tight contest to the wire. When yeoman-like big Jim Etling kissed a layup off the glass and through the hoop with 3:17 left, the scoreboard read 58-58. Neither team recorded a point in the next 1:30, and when Horn drained two free-throws at the 1:53 mark, giving Randolph the lead once more, the crowd hooted and hollered as though a win was eminent. But Kleinlein and Etling had other ideas.

Etling was just 1-for-6 on three-point attempts at that point, but like any good stretch 4–I can’t be the only one reminded of Spencer Hawes when watching his game–he saved his long-range best for last. Catching a swift pass from Kleinlein on the wing, Etling drilled his second trey of the evening, putting the Generals in front 61-60. Not to be outdone, Kleinlein pushed the advantage to four, 64-60, with his final triple of the game at the 0:31 mark. Corey Brown pulled the Cats within two with 8 ticks on the clock, but Etling was as cool as ice from the line thereafter, sinking both freebies to seal the upset win for Washington and Lee. The Generals advance to Salem, where third-seeded Guilford awaits in Friday’s quarterfinals.

As for the WildCats, despite Coach Clay Nunley’s consoling words after the game, this defeat must be disappointing. They clearly had the talent to beat–or crush, as it were–the Generals on any given night. In that context, failing to get past the first round has to hurt.

But Randolph also has plenty to build on next year. Seniors Ehilegbu and Dylan Shiflett graduate in a few months, but Horn and Jason and the rest of the team’s core returns. Plus, guard Zach Desgain–a serious threat on both ends of the floor who has been absent from the Cats for most of the season with an ankle injury–should be back on the court by November. Sure, the team made the NCAA Tournament last year, but that was on the back of ODAC Player of the Year and Jostens Trophy winner Colton Hunt, who graduated after the 2012-13 campaign. With Hunt and Desgain missing, 15 conference wins and a six seed in the tourney isn’t all that bad.


  • Final: #11 Washington and Lee Generals 66, #7 Randolph WildCats 62
  • Player of the Game: Andy Kleinlein (W&L) (14 points on 5-of-6 shooting, 4-of-5 on 3PA)
  • Relive the game from our seats: check out our photos on Flikr and our @ODACcess livestream on Storify
  • Mileage Tracker: 2944 miles
  • Next Stop: ODAC Tournament Quarterfinals, Salem Civic Center (Salem, Va.), February 28