HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, Va.- Visiting Randolph led Hampden-Sydney at the half but the Tigers went on a big run to begin the second half and ended up with an 84-77 win on Wednesday night.
The Tigers led 8-6 at 17:21 but Randolph went on a 20-6 run to jump ahead 26-14 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the first half. Hampden-Sydney answered with a run of its own to trail 26-25 at 6:55. They would close again to 28-27 at 5:27 but the 'Cats did enough to maintain its lead and were ahead 42-34 at the break.
Hampden-Sydney began the second half on a 14-0 spurt with Kevin Quinn supplying nine of those points on three pointers and the Tigers led 48-42 just over three minutes in. Randolph finally registered its first basket of the frame on a Chase VanHorn (Forest, VA./Jefferson Forest) three to cut the Tiger lead to 48-45 at 16:45.
The Tigers expanded their advantage to 57-47 with 12:43 remaining to play. A jumper from Ryan Fields (Edgewood, Md./Loyola Blakefield) and a three from Sammy Hooper (Richmond, Va./Midlothian) sliced the deficit to 57-52 at 10:43. Randolph kept itself within striking distance and trailed 72-67 with 2:30 to go. Trailing 77-70 with 1:22 showing on the game clock, Fields sank a jumper and was fouled. He made his free throw to complete the three-point play and it was a two-possession game, 77-73, with 1:10 left.
After the Tigers made two free throws to bring their lead back up to seven, Fields' layup with 54 ticks left still kept the score at two possessions. Following a Randolph timeout, a dunk from Malik Crute upped the Hampden-Sydney advantage to 81-75. The Tigers would go on to outscore the 'Cats 5-2 in the last 51 seconds to come away with the victory.
Hooper put down 23 points while dishing out five assists and pulling down three rebounds. Following a slow start, Fields scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half adding six rebounds, two assists, and one steal. Elijah Ford (Chantilly, Va./Chantilly) added 12 points with Colton Lee (Raleigh, N.C./North Raleigh Christian Academy) chipping in nine and Brian Smith (Dumfries, Va./C.D. Hylton) tallying seven points and five assists.
"We did a nice job by committee stepping in to replace Reid tonight," said head coach Pete Hamilton after the game. "Colton Lee not only hit some deep ones early but defended his tail off all night. Sammy Hooper went out and had five assists in the first half to take on some of the vacated role as well. Chase VanHorn showed a lot of character stepping in tonight and being extremely effective at both ends after not getting many minutes in recent games."
Randolph matched its season-low in turnovers from last week with 10. It force 22 Hampden-Sydney turnovers that it turned into 29 points. The 22 turnovers are the most by a Randolph opponent this season since William Peace had 23 back in December. The WildCats also had an edge in second chance points 13-5 and in points in the paint 28-26.
"The good we had tonight (mostly in the first half) was at a higher level than our win on Saturday," remarked Hamilton, but we could not sustain it. HSC did a nice job of getting us on our heels and we never really bounced back.
Randolph returns to the RAD Center on Saturday as it hosts Eastern Mennonite. Game time is at 2:00 p.m.