Winning streak ends as Tigers fall to Randolph-Macon

Published 1:00 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2024

It came down to the final seconds, but Hampden-Sydney’s (H-SC) 14-game winning streak ended Saturday, as the Tigers lost to Randolph-Macon (RMC) 48-46. 

The host Tigers trailed 29-18 at halftime before battling back in the second half in front of a vocal capacity crowd of 1,492, but missed three potential game-tying shots over the final 21 seconds. Hampden-Sydney is now 19-2 overall, 11-2 in the ODAC. The visiting Yellow Jackets won their 13th-straight game and improved to 18-3 overall, 11-1 in ODAC, and were led by Daniel Mbangue with a game-high 15 points, as well. 

“These types of games make us better,” said Hampden-Sydney Head Coach Caleb Kimbrough. “Don’t get me wrong, we never want to lose to those guys, but we faced adversity tonight that will help us the remainder of the year. I’m proud of our fight. I’d have AB take that last shot every time. I’m taking CT on the free throw line every time. We will get better from this one and peak at the right time. One more thing … it doesn’t get any better than a packed house in Kirby with H-SC fans. We are beyond thankful to everyone who came out today. Roll Tigers!” 

The Top 10 battle between the two nationally-ranked NCAA Division III programs witnessed H-SC taking an early 3-2 advantage after a three-point field goal by Davidson Hubbard at 19:17, but RMC jumped ahead 17-7 with 11:03 on the first-half clock behind 11 quick points from Mbangue. The Yellow Jackets extended their lead to 25-11 as Jabril Robinson made consecutive three-pointers along with a layup by Keishawn Pulley Jr. The Tigers were able to close to within 29-18 at halftime as Hubbard connected on a pair of baskets before Adam Brazil made a deep three-pointer just ahead of the buzzer. 

HAMPDEN-SYDNEY BATTLES BACK 

RMC led 36-24 early in the second half at 17:24, but the Tigers began battling back and a 12-0 run tied the contest at 36-36 with 10:02 remaining. Fifth-year Ryan Clements got it started with a coast-to-coast layup, followed by two free throws by fifth-year Chase Turner, a steal and jumper from Clements, an offensive rebound and put-back by Hubbard, a three-pointer from Brazil and 1-2 free throws by senior team captain Josiah Hardy. 

The Yellow Jackets managed to extend the lead once-again, this time to 44-37 at 7:18 with five quick points from Malcolm Hodges and another three-pointer by Robinson. The Tigers fought back to within 44-43 with 3:51 left to play on a massive offensive rebound and two-handed slam dunk follow by Hubbard … that came after baskets by Hardy and Turner. A jumper by Pulley made it 46-43 at 2:34, but Hubbard answered with two free throws at 1:39 to make it 46-45. Another basket down low from Mbangue at 1:11 had the visitors ahead 48-45, before 1-2 free throws by Turner with 46.8-seconds on the clock provided for what would prove to be the final margin. 

Following a Macon turnover, the Garnet & Grey took possession and called timeout at :21.1, missing a contested layup out of the timeout but gaining possession once-again on a ball knocked out of bounds under the basket with 4.6-seconds left to play. After another timeout, Hampden-Sydney got an open look jumper from about 10-feet on the right side of the floor, but it rimmed out and an offensive rebound follow attempt rimmed out, as well, as the final buzzer sounded. 

BREAKING DOWN THE NUMBERS 

Hubbard led Hampden-Sydney with his game-highs of 15 points and eight rebounds, and surpassed 1,000 career points on the follow-up slam dunk late in the game-he now totals 1,003 career points and is the 45th Tiger to reach the milestone. Brazil finished with his 12 points and game-high three assists for the Tigers, adding four rebounds. Clements contributed six points, six rebounds, two assists and a game-high four steals. Turner had five points and six rebounds. H-SC shot 35% (18-51) from the field, including 25% (3-12) on three-pointers, and 50% (7-14) at the free throw line.

Mbangue led RMC with his game-high 15 points, adding five rebounds. Hodges and Robinson (3-3 3FGs) each finished with 11 points for the Yellow Jackers, with Hodges adding game-highs of eight rebounds and four steals. RMC shot 44% (20-46) from the field, including 33% (4-12) on three-pointers, and 50% (4-8) at the line. 

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE TIGERS? 

H-SC plays on the road at ODAC opponent Averett University on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. in Danville.