NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Junior Davidson Hubbard (Charlotte, NC) scored a game-high and career-high 26 points, adding a game-high nine rebounds, to lead Hampden-Sydney College to an 85-70 non-conference basketball upset win on the road at nationally-ranked No. 1 Christopher Newport University on Tuesday night in Newport News. Senior Ryan Clements (Conyers, GA) added 15 points for the visiting Tigers (7-3), who trailed 38-37 at halftime, before outscoring top-ranked CNU 48-32 in the second half. Juniors Adam Brazil (Mooresville, NC) swear Josiah Hardy (Ashburn) each had 10 points for the visitors, while Ty Henderson scored 18 points for the host Captains (9-1), who fell for the first time this season and had their 22-game home winning streak stopped.
“Big road win for the Tigers!” said the fourth-year head coach Caleb Kimbrough. “Proud of the guys for coming off of exams and showing the grit to prepare to take care of business tonight. We have a very selfless team that just keeps getting better.”
H-SC took an early 4-0 lead as Hubbard scored on an offensive rebound basket at 19:29, before adding a running hook shot in the lane at 18:55, but CNU responded with a 10-4 run to lead 10- 8 at 2:59 p.m. The Tigers went back in front at 12-10 with 13:22 on the clock following baskets down low from Hubbard and Clements, but the Captains responded with a quick 9-3 run to lead 19-15 at 11:01. The visitors answered back with a quick 7-2 run of their own to lead 22-21 at 8:43, getting five points from Hubbard and a slam dunk by Clements. H-SC extended its advantage to 33-28 at 5:19 after a step-back three-point field goal from Brazil, but the hosts closed the half with a 10-4 run to lead 38-37 at the intermission, including a buzzer-beating layup for the one-point margin.
CNU continued its momentum to begin the second half, taking a 43-37 lead at 18:17, but H-SC answered back with three consecutive three-pointers, including two by Hubbard and the other by freshman Ryan Blakey (Accokeek, MD)—who had a trio of three-pointers in the second half—to retake the lead at 46-43 with 16:18 left to play. The contest was tied at 46-46 before the Tigers took the lead for good with 15:01 on the clock after a layup by Hardy that started a 17-7 run that had the Garnet & Gray ahead 63-53 at 9:27. The outburst included three-pointers from Brazil, senior Miles Harris (Virginia Beach) and Blakey. The Captains managed to get within 63-56 at 8:26, but H-SC pushed the lead to 77-63 with 3:03 remaining after a layup by Clements, and Hubbard secured the largest lead of the night at 81-65 on a slam dunk at 2:09 towards the final 85-70 margin of victory.
Hubbard led H-SC with his game-high and career-high 26 points, making 11-17 field goals (2-4 3FGs) and 2-3 free throws, along with his game-high nine rebounds. Clements finished with 15 points and four rebounds for the Tigers. Brazil and Hardy each contributed 10 points, with Brazil adding a game-high six assists and Hardy adding eight rebounds. Blakey had nine points and a career-high five assists, while a junior Alex Elliott (Marietta, GA) had eight points and six rebounds. H-SC shot a season-high 55% (34-62) from the field, including a season-high 45% (9-20) on three-pointers, and 77% (8-12) at the free throw line.
Henderson led CNU with his 18 points and a game-high four steals. Rodney Graves had 12 points and a game-high four steals, as well, for the Captains. CNU shot 43% (26-61) from the field, including 31% (8-26) on three-pointers, and 56% (10-18) at the line.
The contest featured 12 lead changes and was tied seven times before H-SC took control over the final 15 minutes. It was the Tigers’ first win against CNU in over 27 years, dating back to a 78-71 home win on March 2, 1995 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament played in S. Douglas Fleet Gymnasium. Ironically, H-SC also won on its last visit to CNU, 77-73, 35 years ago on December 5, 1987.
H-SC closes the calendar year with its participation in the Music City Classic hosted by Welch College next week in Gallatin, Tennessee near Nashville … playing non-conference and neutral-site games against Transylvania (KY) University on Monday, Dec. 19, at 4 pm, followed by a game against Berry (GA) College on Tuesday, Dec. 20, at 4 pm