LYNCHBURG, Va. – Despite outscoring the Marlins in a third quarter comeback, the Randolph College women's basketball team ultimately fell to Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) foe Virginia Wesleyan University, 58-46, on Wednesday evening in the RAD Center.
The Marlins grabbed hold of a 12-7 edge at the conclusion of the first period before opening the point gap further off of a 10-2 run for a commanding 22-9 lead. Randolph slowly climbed its way out of the deficit, slicing the score to 28-18 as both teams headed to the locker rooms.
Although Virginia Wesleyan mounted a steady lead in the early minutes of the third quarter, claiming a 37-23 advantage at the 6:19 mark, the WildCats started to gain ground on the Marlins, slicing the deficit to 37-31 off of a pair of free throws made by Taylor Samuels (Springfield, Va./West Springfield). With under two minutes remaining in the quarter, a Sarah Wright (Mechanicsville, Va./Hanover) jump shot wrangled the score to 37-33 before she knocked down a pair of free throws to place the WildCats behind by two (37-35).
Randolph would keep the score close in the fourth quarter but solid free throw shooting by the Marlins extended the point gap to 53-44 with 3:30 remaining on the clock. Despite their best efforts, the WildCats could not convert on several shots as time expired to give Virginia Wesleyan the final 58-46 victory.
"I thought it was the hardest we have fought in a game this season and I am proud of them," said head coach Andrea Kendall.
In spite of the loss, Randolph made 15-of-21 shots from the line for a 71.4 free throw percentage while collecting 17 bench points and six second chance points.
Wright led the team with 13 points off the bench, going 5-of-12 from the field and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe, while Kalyn Banks (Clinton, Md./From The Heart Christian School) chipped in 11 points and a team-high nine boards. Samuels concluded the evening with 10 points with Daijah Johnson (Beltsville, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) dishing out five assists.
The WildCats fall to 5-16, 2-11 ODAC and are back in action on Saturday, Feb. 10 when they travel to Emory & Henry College for a 2 p.m. ODAC contest.