Randolph-Macon holds on for victory at Virginia Wesleyan
VIRGINIA BEACH -- Randolph-Macon College's women's basketball team hit 6-of-6 free throws in the final 40 seconds Saturday to stay in front of host Virginia Wesleyan College for a 73-66 Old Dominion Athletic Conference victory.
Accuracy at the stripe helped the Yellow Jackets overcome the sting of five turnovers in the final 3:51 as VWC's Marlins stepped up the defensive pressure and recorded three steals. That closing defensive stand helped Virginia Wesleyan to whittle a 63-53 R-MC lead to just 65-64 with 1:28 remaining to be played, following a steal and score by sophomore Symonne Newsome (Reistertown, Md./St. Paul's Schoo for Girls).
Taylor Wieczorek (Grasonville, Md./Severn) hit a jumper to give R-MC (10-8, 8-5) a 67-74 lead, and VWC's scoring attempts in the next 33 seconds all missed the mark.
It was a game of comebacks as Virginia Wesleyan (14-4, 11-2) led from the start and opened up a 25-15 first-half lead behind a balanced scoring attack. Timely scores by sophomoreKatie Tassa (Bristow, Va./Manassas Osbourn Park) and rookie Kerri-Leanne Taylor (Stockport, England/The Hill School, Pa.) gave VWC its largest lead at 33-14, before R-MC scored the last seven points, including a triple at the buzzer by Maggie Roy (Richmond, Va./Mills Godwin) to cut the halftime deficit to 33-26.
Virginia Wesleyan remained in front by as many as 11 points early in the second half, before the Marlins went cold and the Jackets heated up. The result was a 25-6 scoring run by R-MC to turn a 41-30 deficit into a 55-47 lead with 8:17 remaining to be played. Rookie Sarah Parsons (Glen Allen, Va./J.R. Tucker) led the way with nine points and Roy added seven.
R-MC pushed out to a 63-53 lead with 4:46 on the court, but could not sit on it. Virginia Wesleyan came back strong behind a harassing defense and out-scored the Jackets. 11-2 to pull within the 65-64 score. Newsome led the Marlins with four points and senior Kristen Blalock (Suffolk, Va./Portsmouth Christian) drilled in a big triple.
Blalock led VWC scoring with 17 points, hitting 6-of-12 shots from the field. Rookie Sarah Seipp (Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg) added 11 points, 10 rebounds and five steals.
Parsons topped scoring for R-MC with 18 points, hitting 8-of-11 free throws overall. Wieczorek and Roy added 17 points each. Wieczorek also led all board play with 15 rebounds and Jillian Asay (Chesterfield, N.J./North Burlington County) pulled down 10.
While Virginia Wesleyan won the rebounding battle 51-48, R-MC was a step ahead in free throw shooting. The Jackets hit 20-of-30 attempts and VWC hit 16-of-26.
R-MC and VWC split their regular season series. VWC won earlier, in Ashland, 78-70.
Virginia Wesleyan returns to competition on Friday, Feb. 3, hosting Emory & Henry College in an ODAC game beginning at 3 p.m. The Marlins also host league-leading Guilford College on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 4 p.m.