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Emory & Henry Men’s Basketball Advances To ODAC Title Game With A 69-67 Win Over Washington and Lee

-photo courtesy of Joey Gass
-photo courtesy of Joey Gass

SALEM, Va. – The #3 Emory & Henry College Men's Basketball Team (20-7) picked up a 69-67 come-from-behind win over seventh-seeded Washington and Lee University (13-15) on Saturday afternoon. With the victory, the Wasps advance to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship game for the first time since 1994.

The Basics
FINAL SCORE
– #3 Emory & Henry 69, #7  Washington and Lee 67
LOCATION – Salem, Virginia – Salem Civic Center
RECORDS – #3 Emory & Henry (20-7, 12-4 ODAC); #7 Washington and Lee (13-15, 7-9 ODAC)

How It Happened
- Washington and Lee took an early 10-4 lead and kept the six-point margin at 14-8 thanks to effective long-range shooting. The Wasps tied things up, 16-all, with 8:29 to go before the half, but the Generals went on a 20-8 run covering 6:40 to push their advantage to 12 (36-24).
- Emory & Henry scored the final six points of the half with an old-fashioned three-point play by junior forward Chase Branscomb (Bristol, Tenn.) and a triple by junior guard John Shelor (Giles, Va.) to trim the deficit to 36-30.
- The Wasps came out of the locker room on a mission, scoring 11 of the first 15 points of the second to take a 41-40 lead. E&H extended its run to 23-8 for a 53-44 advantage with 13:12 left to play.
- W&L chipped away at the lead over the next 12 minutes and got within one (65-64) with 47 seconds left when Andy Kleinlein hit a three. The Wasps converted four-straight free throws for a two-possession game with two seconds remaining.
- A half-court three by W&L as time expired made the final score 69-67.

Emory & Henry Individual Leaders
- Sophomore forward Aaron Ferguson (Princeton, W.Va.) posted a team-high 16 points off the bench and pulled down 13 rebounds for a double-double.
- Senior guard Ryan Gravley (Austinville, Va.) went four-for-seven from the field and hit four free throws for 12 points and added six assists while Branscomb had 12 points and eight rebounds.
- Sophomore forward Alic Wynn (Asheville, N.C.) put up nine points while sophomore guard Clif Conley (Galax, Va.) tacked on seven off the bench.

Washington and Lee Individual Leaders
- All five starters reached double figures for the Generals led by Kleinlein with 17 points on five-for-six shooting from long range.
- Roy McMillan had 13 points and five rebounds while Alex Starr contributed 12 points and five boards.
- Devin Kearns and Clayton Murtha posted 11 points each with Murtha adding nine rebounds and three blocks.

A Deeper Look
- Emory & Henry went 25-for-60 (41.7%) from the field and hit three three-pointers. The Wasps made 48.3 percent (14-for-29) of their second-half field goal attempts and finished the game with 16 points at the free throw line.
- Washington and Lee shot 41.8 percent (23-for-55) for the game and started out at a blistering pace from long range, going 7-for-10 in the first half. The Generals hit a total of 10 triples and converted 11-of-17 (64.7%) of their free throw attempts.
- The Wasps held a 41-32 rebounding advantage which translated to an 11-3 lead on second-chance points. E&H also outscored W&L, 38-18, on points in the paint.
- Both teams were efficient with the ball, committing only eight turnovers each, but it was Emory & Henry which took advantage of the miscues, leading 12-3 on points off turnovers.

Notable
- Emory & Henry's 20-win season is the first since the 1992-93 campaign when it won 23 contests.
- Emory & Henry makes it two wins in the ODAC Tournament for the second year in a row. The last time the Wasps had a back-to-back years with multiple tournament wins was a three-year span from 1990-93.
- The Wasps reach the championship game of the ODAC Tournament for the sixth time in program history.
- It was the first time in five attempts that E&H has defeated W&L in postseason play. The last time the two programs met in the ODAC Tournament was in the first round of 2012.

Up Next
- Emory & Henry will take on top-seeded Guilford College in attempts to win its first ODAC Championship on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
- The Quakers topped #5 Virginia Wesleyan College by a 67-64 score in the other semifinal contest Saturday.
- E&H and Guilford split their two regular season meetings, with both teams winning on the road.

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