HARRISONBURG, Va. - Despite a close 57-56 score in the final minute of the fourth quarter, the Randolph College women's basketball team ultimately fell to Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) and host Eastern Mennonite University, 59-57, on Tuesday evening in Yoder Arena.
The Royals held a 57-48 lead over the WildCats as the clock started to count down the final minutes of the fourth quarter but Randolph bounced back with an 8-0 run to slice the deficit to 57-56 with under a minute remaining, forcing the Royals to call a timeout.
At the 0:30 mark, an Eastern Mennonite foul sent Alexis Calloway (Williamsburg, Va./Bruton) to the foul line, giving the WildCats an opportunity to take the lead. The senior guard connected on the first free throw shot to level the score to 57-all, but was unable to convert the second shot as the Royals regained possession and drove the ball down the lane to hit a floater for a 59-57 edge with 8.7 seconds left on the clock.
After a brief timeout called by the WildCats, Taylor Samuels (Springfield, Va./West Springfield) tried to send the game into overtime with a long jumper from the inside of the 3-point arc at the buzzer but could not find her target as the Royals took home its first conference win.
The WildCats would trail 17-16 after the opening period but an 11-0 run in the second quarter pushed them ahead, 27-17 at the 4:44 mark. However, Eastern Mennonite responded with a 15-3 spurt to grab a 32-30 advantage at halftime. Despite the Royals' best efforts to shake off the WildCats in the third quarter, Randolph would continue to follow close behind Eastern Mennonite, eventually cutting the deficit to 46-40 heading into the final period.
Both teams drew even on the stat sheet in field goal percentage, making 22-of-55 shots each, but the WildCats finished with a higher free throw percentage, making 8-of-13 shots from the line, while edging the Royals 31-28 in rebounds and converting 23 points off turnovers.
Maura McMahon (Blacksburg, Va./Blacksburg) made 7-of-10 shots from the field and 4-of-5 shots from beyond the arc to lead Randolph with 18 points while Daijah Johnson (Beltsville, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) recorded 15 points, shooting 5-of-12 from the floor and 4-of-6 from the line, and four assists with Samuels adding 10 points for the offense. Calloway put up eight boards for the WildCats to go along with five points, two assists and one steal.
Randolph drops to 2-3, 0-1 ODAC and will next travel to Salem College for a 7:30 p.m. non conference contest on Thursday, Nov. 30.