Women's Basketball

WildCats Battle Top-Seed in ODAC Quarters

Rizzari scored a career-high 19 points in the ODAC Quarters on Friday
Rizzari scored a career-high 19 points in the ODAC Quarters on Friday

For Immediate Release – 2/24/16 - #208
WildCats Battle Top-Seed in ODAC Quarters

SALEM, VA – The Randolph College women's basketball played the top seed on Friday in the first appearance in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Quarterfinals since 1999.  The eighth-seeded 'Cats battled the whole way, but fell to Lynchburg College, 58-48.

The Hornets started the game off with four-straight, however, Randolph answered right away.  Each starting post, Korin Harris and Alexis Calloway, scored down low to tie it at four.  LC stopped the miniature burst, but the 'Cats made it an 8-2 run shortly after.  Jacqueline Hockman hit a layup tying it again, before Calloway took the lead.  Lynchburg tallied five of the next seven, as Danielle Rizzari finished a strong take to the basket.  She then grabbed the advantage back for the 'Cats at the end of the first, hitting a pair of free throws, making the score 12-11.

Rizzari then hit another from the charity stripe, making the score 13-11 near the beginning of the second.  Then Harris made it 15-11 with a finish off of a pass from Daijah Johnson.  LC responded with six-straight points, including an and-one three point shot from Olivia DeFrancesco.  However, Rizzari brought the WildCats back in front with a three at 6:23 of the period.  However, Lynchburg used an 8-0 burst to go up 25-17.  Calloway and Samuels combined for three points over the last minutes of the quarter, but the Hornets made it 29-21 going into the break. 

Neither team got on the board during the first couple of minutes of the second stanza, as the defenses played very strong.  Taylor Samuels was the first one, as she completed a traditional three-point play to cut the deficit.  Lynchburg finally scored on a three with 5:20 left in the third, but it was answered shortly after.

Harris hit two tough shots, bringing the margin to four.  Charmaine Hairston came back with a three on the other end, but Rizarri hit a jumper off a pass from Calloway.  Johnson stole the ball on the next possession, and she finished the fast break off, cutting things to three.  However, the Hornets finished the third with a 6-2 run, starting the fourth with a 41-34 advantage.

LC started the final period with another 6-2 burst, gaining an 11-point advantage.  It stayed at the margin until the 5:08 mark, as neither team found the bottom of the net.  At that point, Rizzari hit her first three of the period.  Samuels followed her with a free throw soon after, bringing the score to 47-40.

Caroline Naumann and Calloway traded baskets shortly after, keeping the deficit the same.  Then Naumann hit a three, but Rizzari answered on the other end from the same distance.  Following a free throw by Naumann, Rizzari connected from deep bringing the score to 53-48 with 1:50 remaining.  However, the 'Cats would get no closer as the Hornets held on for the win.

Rizzari led the WildCats with a career-high 19 points.  Calloway tallied seven points and posted a game-high 12 rebounds.  Hairston led Lynchburg (21-5 overall) with a game-high 23 points.

Randolph saw the season end with the game against the Hornets.  The 'Cats finished 13-14, which tied the program record for wins in a season set two years ago.  The end of the season also signified the end of the great careers of Hockman, Harris, and Darian Thornton.  The three seniors finished with the most wins of any four-year class in the history of the program.