Washington & Lee Hands Men's Basketball First Defeat, 59-45, in Equinox Finale
SWARTHMORE, Pa. – Looking to get to 4-0 for the first time in over 60 years, the Swarthmore College men's basketball team (3-1) rallied back from a 16-point first-half deficit, only to see visiting Washington & Lee (3-0) take back control of the game late, as the Generals defeated the Garnet 59-45 on Saturday afternoon from Tarble Pavilion in the final game of the 19th Annual Equinox Classic.
Sophomore Will Gates – who was named to the All-Classic Team for the second-consecutive year – led the Garnet with his first double-double of the season, leading Swat with 15 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out with five minutes to play.
J.D Ey - another All-Tournement selection - led a balanced Generals' scoring attack with 10 points. Washington & Lee saw 11 of its 15 players score at least one point.
Coming off an emotional comeback victory over Clark the previous evening, Swarthmore came out flat to start the first half and quickly found itself in an early hole. With scored tied 6-6 with just under three minutes into the game, the Generals used buckets from five different players over a five-minute to a take a 19-6 lead with11:50 remaining in the first half.
The Generals lead extended to as high 16 points with under four minutes to play before Swarthmore made a late-half charge to get back into the game.
Down 31-16 with 3:50 remaining in the half, the Garnet finished the half on a 9-0 run – fueled by three-pointers from Gates and senior captain Ryan Carmichael – to cut the lead to 31-25 heading into the break.
After even play for the first 10 minutes of the second half, Swarthmore came to life - just like it did in Friday's second-half comeback win over Clark - using a 9-0 run over a three-minute span to take its first lead of the game at 42-41 with 8:35 to play. The catalyst of the comeback was senior Sam Lacy, as the captain hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 41-37, drew a charge on the ensuing possession, and then drained a three-point on the next trip down the court to cut the Generals' lead to one. A lay-up from Carmichael two possessions later gave Swarthmore it's first lead of the game at 42-41.
But just as quickly as Swarthmore took the lead, it vanished, as Washington & Lee used an and-one from Ey to take back the lead, which in turn sparked a 10-0 W&L run that gave the Generals back control of the game.
From there, the Garnet tried valiantly to get back in the game, but Washington & Lee sunk 10 of 13 free throws down the stretch and limited the Garnet to just one field goal over the final seven minutes of play to pull out the victory.
The Generals won the game in the paint and with bench play; W&L out-scored Swarthmore 23-5 in the paint and 25-9 in bench points. The Garnet stayed in the game thanks to seven three-pointers as compared to just one for the Generals.
With the win, Washington & Lee completes the Equinox Classic unbeaten.
Lacy finished the game with eight points, a team-high three assists, and four rebounds. Carmichael added seven points.
The Garnet drew four charges for the game, including two from Gates.
Swarthmore opens Centennial Conference play on Tuesday when it travels to Dickinson. Tip off is set for 8:00 p.m.