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WildCats Lose Heartbreaker in OT at Jean Edge Classic; Calloway Named All-Tourney

Calloway Receiving All-Tournament Plaque
Calloway Receiving All-Tournament Plaque

For immediate release – 11/20/2016 - #126
WildCats Lose Heartbreaker in OT at Jean Edge Classic; Calloway Named All-Tourney

ROCKY MOUNT, NC – The Randolph College women's basketball team came from behind in the final minutes of regulation, but fell in overtime to host North Carolina Wesleyan College 72-69 on Sunday.  It was the final game of Jean Edge Classic, with NCWC being the overall champion. For her work over the two days, Alexis Calloway was named to the All-Tournament Team.

The defensive prowess of both teams was on display in the first.  Danielle Rizzari and Taylor Samuels combined for three points in the first 30 seconds, with Samuels coming off of a steal.  However, the 'Cats would not find the bottom of the net for almost three minutes.  But their defense only gave up four points in that time as well.

After Samuels tied the score at 6:45 with a free throw, it would be another two minutes before either side scored.  Jacqueline Hockman finished a traditional three-point play off a pass from Daijah Johnson.  But at that point, the two teams began to trade points.  There were several ties, with the WildCats maintaining a narrow lead until the Battling Bishops took it with 22 seconds remaining.  However, Hockman knocked down a jumper with eight seconds remaining to tie the score at 16-all.

Both teams continued to have great performances from the defense in the second period.  It took over a minute before either team scored, with NCWC tallying.  Korin Harris and Alexis Calloway then went back-to-back to retake the advantage for Randolph with 8:05 on the clock. However, another dry spell was in store for both teams, as Alexis Fitzgerald scored the next points of the game at 5:05, putting the score at 21-20 for North Carolina Wesleyan on a three.

In the last four minutes of the half, the lead changed hands four times but finished with a tie.  Jessica Boney hit a three to take the lead back at one point, and Maura McMahon added another make from behind the arc with one-second on the clock to tie the score at 28-all.

The Battling Bishops came out of the break on a run, taking a 10-point lead just three minutes in.  The two teams then began to trade baskets, as the difference hovered around that mark until there was less than two minutes left in the period.  Camille Gallagher scored four-straight (two free throws and a jumper) to cut it to five.  Fitzgerald made a free throw to put it back at six, but it was decreased once again after Kalyn Banks made a tough layup after grabbing an offensive rebound.  The score would remain at 48-44 in favor of the hosts at the end of three.

Once again, both teams found points tough to come by at the beginning of the period.  However, Samuels and Johnson both scored at different points to keep the deficit at three with 7:30 remaining.  Samuels then hit a jumper with 5:15 left to make the difference one, but North Carolina Wesleyan pushed it back to five in less than a minute.

Samuels once again made a shot to bring the deficit to three at 3:38.  Harris then converted an old fashioned three-point play a minute later to tie the score.  The Bishops retook the lead soon after, but Harris again tied it with a pair from the charity stripe, with just over a minute remaining.

The hosts retook the lead, but Johnson knocked down a jumper to tie it and Samuels hit a free throw with 23 seconds left to retake the lead.  However, after a Johnson free throw, Cailla Spruill hit two with one second on the clock to send the game into overtime.

The Battling Bishops took the initial lead in OT, but Rizzari grabbed it right back with a three.  But NCWC responded with two straight baskets to take a three-point advantage.  Rizzari made a free throw, but North Carolina Wesleyan came back and hit a jumper pushing the lead to 69-65.  The sides traded baskets, but the Battling Bishops hung on for the title.

Samuels and Johnson each poured in double-figures on Sunday, scoring 16 and 13 respectively.  Calloway scored six points, and pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds.  For the weekend she averaged 10.5 points and 13 rebounds, well deserving of a spot on the All-Tourney Team.

The 'Cats forced the Battling Bishops (3-0 overall) into committing 29 turnovers on the day, a total which was 12 more than the WildCats.

Randolph (2-1) continues its long road trip on Tuesday.  However, the WildCats will open up Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) in their tilt, going against Guilford College (3-0), with tip-off set for 7 p.m.