Tigers advance to Sweet 16. Who’s next?

The Tigers are headed to the Sweet 16. Hampden-Sydney earned their ticket with a 72-51 win Saturday over Farmingdale State in the second round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament. And on Sunday, the team found out they won’t have to travel, as part of the Sweet 16 will be played in Prince Edward County. 

“What an honor to be hosting again this weekend,” said Tigers Head Coach Caleb Kimbrough. “There is nothing like a packed house in Kirby and we can’t wait until Friday night.”

The team got to this point by spreading the ball around Saturday, filling up the stat sheet while doing it. Ryan Clements had a game-high 13 points, five rebounds and five assists. Sophomore Shane Fernald added 12 points and senior Davidson Hubbard had 10 points and six rebounds. Adam Brazil, Alex Elliott and Josiah Hardy each had eight points, with Brazil adding seven rebounds and a game-high seven assists, Elliott adding a game-high and career-high 11 rebounds and Hardy adding five rebounds, two assists and two steals. 

Playing in front of a packed house at Kirby Field House, the Tigers dominated from midway in the first half, reaching halftime on a 40-9 run to lead 49-20. They handled business in the second half, as for the second-straight night, Kimbrough was able to play deep into his bench over the closing minutes of the contest. 

H-SC shot 40% (27-67) from the field, including just 17% (5-30) on three-pointers, and 77% (13-17) at the free throw line. The Garnet & Grey enjoyed a 38-14 advantage in points scored in the paint, a 25-13 advantage in bench points, and a 17-7 advantage in second chance points … out-rebounding the Rams 54-35, including 18 offensive rebounds. FSC shot 29% (18-63) from the field, including only 21% (6-28) on three-pointers, and 69% (9-13) at the line.

With the win, Hampden-Sydney improves to 28-2 on the season. The Rams, meanwhile, finish their year at 27-3, led by Nick Hurowitz with 13 points. 

“The guys won the moment tonight,” Kimbrough said. “This group is playing some good ball right now. We aren’t done yet. Still dancing!”

WHO DO THE TIGERS PLAY NEXT? 

With the win, Hampden-Sydney moves on to the Sweet 16 of the tournament, which starts on Friday, March 8. The big question here is who will the Tigers play next? The answer is Rowan (NJ) University. The Profs, which come in at 21-7, staged an upset to make the Sweet 16, knocking off the No. 14 team in the nation, Catholic, beating them 89-85. 

For the fourth time this year, Rowan senior guard Marcellus Ross scored more than 30 points, finishing with 31 points and seven rebounds. He was one of three Rowan players to finish with 20 points or more. Junior Khalif Meares had 23 points, while 6’6 senior forward Ja’Zere Noel added 20 points and 11 rebounds, his 16th double-double on the season.

Here’s how the schedule will play out at Kirby. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps will take on Nebraska Wesleyan University at 4 p.m. Friday, March 8. Then Hampden-Sydney will take on Rowan at 7 p.m. 

The two winners from Friday’s games will play on Saturday, March 9, at 7 p.m. for a trip to the Final Four in Fort Wayne, Indiana.