For immediate release – 2/23/2016 - #212
Hot Shooting Helps WildCats Advance to ODAC Quarters
LYNCHBURG, VA – The sixth-seeded Randolph College men's basketball team shot 52.1% from the floor, helping the team defeat 11th-seeded Washington and Lee University 71-65 on Tuesday night. With the victory, the WildCats advance to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Tournament Quarterfinals, which will be played Friday night.
It was a very tight game throughout, as what would be suspected of two strong teams that matched up for the second time in four days. Points came quickly early on as the two teams traded baskets over the initial minutes. Reid Jacoby hit a three off of a Corey Brown assist to answer an Andrew Franz basket. After the Generals went up 6-3, Brown connected off of Jacoby's pass to tie it. Rhyle Scott then put the 'Cats up two shortly after.
Both teams then traded five-point mini-runs to keep the WildCat lead at two. But Washington and Lee followed the Randolph burst, with eight of 10, including five by Andy Kleinlein. However, immediately after that three, Seth Wimbish hit a big shot to bring the 'Cats within one.
The pace then slowed down as the defenses became more physical. Free throws were traded by both sides, until Franz finished a layup to put W&L up 24-20 with 3:15 left in the half. Kleinlein extended it and Nicholas George hit a three after a Zach Desgain layup to give the Generals their largest lead of the game (seven). However, Desgain and Josh Freund scored back to back baskets as the clock was winding down to cut the deficit to 29-26 at the half.
Once again, the teams started out trading points. Franz had five early points to counter a three by Jason Eddie and a bucket by Freund. Devin Hearns followed it with a free throw, giving W&L a 35-31 advantage. But the WildCats stormed back with six straight to take the lead, including four by Desgain.
Freund and Franz exchanged two layups each, but Desgain followed that low post show with a big three, with 14 minutes remaining. One minute later, Desgain hit a jumper to push the lead to 46-39. But, just as with Randolph, the Generals would not go quietly.
Jok Asiyo started the run, before Franz scored five straight to tie it. Evan Horn ended it with a three of his own, but Franz came down and hit one more to bring the tie back. However, following that bucket Ryan Fields and Desgain took over. The two combined for nine of 12 points, extending the sixth-seed's lead to 58-52.
At that point, Clayton Murtha turned up his game and scored seven points to cut the deficit to 62-59 with 1:21 remaining. Following that, Brown hit a huge jumper with 52 seconds left to put WildCats up five. The team hit free throws to seal the victory down the stretch.
Desgain led the 'Cats with 22 points, one shy of his career-high. Freund chipped in 14 points and pulled down a team-high seven rebounds. Fields put in an impressive six points, five rebounds, and five assists. With the hot shooting on both sides, there were few rebounds to be had, but the WildCats outrebounded the visitors 30-22.
Franz tallied a game-high 26 points for the Generals (10-16 overall) on a perfect 10-10 shooting. Murtha scored 12 and grabbed seven boards.
Randolph (15-11) will take on third-seeded Roanoke College (19-6) on Friday at 8 p.m. in the Salem Civic Center. The game will be a rematch of the overtime victory the WildCats had in Salem back in January.