A day after falling to #1 seed Radford the eighth seeded Longwood Lancers bounced back with a big win over rival Liberty 4-3. The win ends Liberty’s season and crushes the Flames slight title hopes after being well rated in the RPI all season.
In a surprise move Ryan Mau started Lancers reliever Luke Simpson, who took the mound for just his fourth start this season. Simpson had a really solid outing giving up three runs in six and one-third innings of work while fanning five Flames. Brandon Harvell will go down as the hero for the Lancers as he had the game-winning RBI in the ninth inning to put the Lancers ahead 4-3.
The biggest moment at the plate likely came in the third inning though as Kyri Washington blasted home run number 15 on the season to tie the game 2-2 after a rough inning for the Lancers. Longwood also looked poised to inflict some damage in the sixth inning but a bizarre ruling by the umpire crew push the Lancers into a double-play at bat.
This is the third Longwood victory in the Big South Tournament in just the Lancers second appearance in three years of conference membership. The Lancers took down High Point and Gardner-Webb in the 2013 conference tournament. Longwood will now play the loser of today’s Radford versus High Point game in another elimination affair tomorrow.
We posted yesterday that Longwood is a finalist for USC transfer Kahlil Dukes. Right now the Hartford native is down to Hofstra, Maine, Niagara, Longwood, and a to-be-determined mystery school. Things have changed a lot in 24 hours as both Hofstra and Maine have signed players and seemingly exhausted all of their scholarships. Surely rosters are malleable this time of things but if things stay the same then the race seems to be down to the Lancers and MAAC member Niagara.
Longwood has one of the strongest cores in the Big South coming back next year with Shaq Johnson, Lotanna Nwogbo, Leron Fisher, and others. The Lancers will also get a boost in a pair of transfers Tra’Vaughn White (Duquesne) and Richmond native Khris Lane (Drexel). Both White and Lane practiced with the Lancers a year ago but sat out the season due to NCAA transfer rules. Due to the depth that Longwood seemingly has back it’s not imperative that Coach Gee uses his final scholarship on an immediate impact players, making the addition of Dukes perfect for the Lancers.
After next season Longwood is woefully thin at point guard. White and Fisher will move on and Bryan Gee will be the only true point guard on the roster. Sure, Kanayo Obi-Rapu can adequately handle the rock and will continue to improve orchestrating the offense but he seems more well suited as a two-guard for the Lancers. Basically, as of right now, Longwood had no starting point guard in the pipeline for the 2016-17 season. That’s where Dukes comes in…
Dukes would be a star in the Big South. He averaged 23.9 points, 3.9 assists and 3.0 steals per game for Capital Prep Magnet in high school and is known for his scoring ability. Coming into USC, Galen Central described him as such:
“He is, unquestionably, a gifted scorer that can do just about anything to get his own shot and score, whether it is taking a jump shot off the dribble, pulling up from long range, or penetrating the lane and finishing at the rim.”.
Dukes would be the perfect piece to steady the ship in the 2016-17 season. Longwood should still be a title contender in the Big South by then and Dukes likely isn’t going to get an opportunity to be “the guy” anywhere else like he is at Longwood. He’d get two years in Farmville to put together something special alongside Obi-Rapu and Lane. That trio could carry the Lancers a long way in the future.
According to his twitter account, Longwood is a finalist for University of Southern California transfer Kahlil Dukes:
After hearing from over a dozen schools, I’ve narrowed down to a top 5: Niagara Longwood Maine Hofstra Fifth school is still undetermined.
— Kahlil Dukes (@kahlildukes) May 17, 2015
Dukes has two years of eligibility remaining after finishing his sophomore year averaging 2.1 points per game in 7.2 minutes of action this past season for the Trojans. His best game this season came against Arizona State when he posted 18 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists.
The Hartford, Connecticut native stands at 6’0 and plays the point guard position. Out of high school Dukes received offers from UTEP, Drexel, Ohio, Florida International, Loyola Marymount and others. He was considered a 3-star recruit after averaging 23.9 points, 3.9 assists and 3.0 steals per game for Capital Prep Magnet in high school.
Longwood will fight Niagara, Hofstra, and Maine for the talented point guard. Dukes would be the third Division I point guard transfer under Jayson Gee joining the highly successful Quincy Taylor (UAB) and expected starter this season Tra’Vaughn White (Duquesne).
Longwood Softball made history Saturday afternoon when they grabbed the school’s first ever Division I NCAA Tournament victory beating Virginia Tech 6-4 in extra innings. The win ended the season for the Hokies.
Elizabeth McCarthy had a solid outing as Longwood surged to a 4-0 lead but the Hokies had an explosive fifth inning to tie the game at four. Justina Augustine was then the hero for the Lancers in extra innings after a great showing by Libby Morris in relief.
The win setup an immediate battle with the #23 Utah Utes, a team that Longwood lost to twice in Hawaii back in the beginning of March. McCarthy was once again in the middle of a quality outing and it looked like Glenn Walters tied the game at one apiece in the fourth inning but the homeplate umpire made a controversial call and claimed Walters was out despite never being tagged.
Utah expanded their lead to 2-0 and Longwood wasn’t able to get a run on the board despite keeping the Utes in check,
Enough can’t be said about Kathy Riley’s Lancers and their historic run. Everyone from the Longwood community is beyond proud. We certainly salute the coaching staff, Megan Baltzell, Katie Shinrock, Casey Lifsey, Chelsea Sciacca. and Libby Morris. They were the heart and soul of a Lancers team that claimed the school’s first two Big South titles and first ever Division I NCAA Tournament win and Morris and Baltzell were two of the best players in school history.
The good news is Longwood brings back a slew of talent, including the McCarthy, the Big South Pitcher of the Year, and five other Big South honerees. The Lancers should be a fixture in the NCAA Tournament for years to come!
Kathy Riley’s Longwood Lancers gave #8 Tennessee all they could handle in the opening game of the NCAA Regionals in Knoxville, Tennessee as the Volunteers won 2-0 on their home field. Vols pitcher Erin Gabriel was most definitely the star of the game only giving up one hit in seven innings and striking out the Lancers 13 times.
Longwood got a great performance from Libby Morris and Elizabeth McCarthy in the circle as the two navigated their way through the tough Vols lineup.
At the plate the Lancers best opportunity came in the fourth inning when Justina Augustine seemed to rattle Gabriel a bit with a blast that nearly missed being a home run by a couple feet sailing left of the foul poll. Megan Baltzell reached on an error, Chelsea Sciacca walked, and Emily Murphy got the Lancers only hit of the game to load the bases for the Lancers. Unfortunately, Gabriel got out of the jam with back-to-back strikeouts.
The play of the night was when Emily Murphy made this snag:
— Longwood Softball (@LongwoodSB) May 16, 2015
Longwood will now take on Virginia Tech tomorrow at 3:30 for an elimination game on ESPN3. The Lancers dropped two in Blacksburg back in March losing 11-0 and 1-0. The Hokies lost to Utah 6-1 on Friday and have lost nine of their last ten games.
According to his twitter account Cody Anderson will assume the role of Director of Basketball Operations for the Longwood men’s basketball team. The spot has been vacant since last fall since when Chuck Henry stepped down from the position.
Anderson has been a student assistant coach at the University of Georgia since 2011 under the tutelage of Mark Fox. He has also helped Fox run Georgia’s annual summer camps and also participated as a coach at Shaka Smart’s summer camps in Richmond.
Outside of his duties at UGA, Anderson developed the Anderson Basketball Academy geared to help local youth develop their basketball skills with a focus on fundamentals.
Anderson’s addition is likely the only change to Coach Gee’s staff for this year.