For Immediate Release – 2/21/17 - #204
WildCats Score Historic Win over Bridgewater to Advance in ODAC Tourney
LYNCHBURG, VA – For the first time in the history of the Randolph College women's basketball program, the WildCats won an Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tournament game. The 'Cats defeated Bridgewater College 78-65 on Tuesday night, advancing as the eight seed.
The first quarter went back and forth early on, with Korin Harris, Daijah Johnson, and Alexis Calloway all answering baskets in the first three minutes of the game. The ninth-seeded Eagles scored the next six, taking a 13-6 lead, but it lasted only a short amount of time.
Kalyn Banks started the burst off for Randolph, as she made a tough layup off of a pass from Johnson. Harris followed it, as Danielle Rizzari assisted on hers. BC tallied the next basket, but Rizzari followed it with a three. On the next possession, Harris stole the ball, which started a fast break. Johnson finished it to tie the score at 15. Taylor Samuels took the lead at 17-15 with a pair from the line, but the score was tied at 17 entering the second.
The second proved to be the back-breaker for the lower seed, as the 'Cats dominated proceedings. Harris began things with a traditional three-point play, which was followed by consecutive field goals from Johnson, Samuels, and Calloway, bringing the lead to 26-17. Bridgewater ended the run temporarily with three of five points, but Jacqueline Hockman hit back-to-back jumpers, extending the advantage to 12.
Points were traded over the next few minutes, with Samuels connecting from deep and Banks hitting a jumper. However, the 'Cats ended the period with seven-straight, including a three right before the buzzer from Maura McMahon, pushing the score to 44-26 at the half.
The streak continued out of the break, as Harris and Samuels went back-to-back. The Eagles finally broke it up, as Jessica Lam began a trade with Harris and Calloway. Harris pushed the lead back to 24 (54-30) with 7:10 left in the period, and it started a trade that would last the remainder of the third. Banks had five, while Rizzari and Johnson each tallied two, and Randolph entered the fourth with a 63-43 advantage.
Things got interesting in the fourth, as the Eagles made a comeback. Bridgewater scored 12 of the first 14 points (Rizzari had an easy drive for two), cutting the margin to 10 with 4:25 left. Rizzari then hit another layup, and the 'Cats forced a turnover on the other end. Samuels was fouled on the ensuing break, and she made both of her shots from the line. The guests hit a three on the next possession, but Banks and Johnson combined for three points, bringing the score to 72-58 with 2:11 remaining.
BC hit a three soon after, but Banks countered it with a jumper. The Eagles tried to rally one more time, scoring four points and cutting the deficit to nine. However, Samuels and Banks stepped to line in the last 30 seconds and sunk all of the attempts, sealing the win.
Harris ended the game with 15 points and nine rebounds. Banks added a career-high 15 off the bench, and Samuels and Johnson chipped in 13 apiece. Johnson also neared a triple-double, finishing with seven caroms and seven assists. The 'Cats outrebounded Bridgewater (14-12 overall) 45-32 in the big win.
Along with this being the first ODAC tournament win, it will be the first time the program will be headed to the Salem Civic Center since 1999. In addition, the team tied the program record for most wins in a season.
Randolph (13-13) will play on Friday in the 1 p.m. time slot. The 'Cats take on top-seeded Lynchburg College in the first game of the quarterfinals.