LYNCHBURG, Va. -- The Washington and Lee men's basketball team dug itself an early 19-point hole and was unable to dig itself out in falling, 78-70, to Randolph College at the RAD Center on Saturday afternoon.
After taking an early 4-3 lead on a lay-up by junior forward J.D. Ey (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) just 1:28 into the first period, W&L (5-3, 1-1 ODAC) missed its next eight shots in succession as Randolph College (4-2, 2-0 ODAC) sprinted out to a 17-4 lead by the 12:57 mark.
Sophomore forward Larry Whitaker (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) broke the Generals' cold spell with a jumper at 12:37 that made it 17-6 in favor of the WildCats. W&L managed to get its deficit back to single digits as a three pointer by sophomore guard Kevin Gill (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) with 9:45 to play in the opening period made it 20-11 in favor of Randolph.
However, a 12-2 scoring run by the WildCats, capped by a pair of free throws from junior guard Colton Hunt, gave them a 19-point lead (32-13) at the 6:36 mark.
The Generals did manage to outscore Randolph 15-4 the rest of the half to inch to within eight points (36-28) at the break.
In the second period, the WildCats ran their lead up to 18 points (52-34) with 14:24 left to play, hitting of 4-of-5 shots from the field and 7-of-7 shots from the line to open the second stanza.
The Randolph lead remained 18 points (62-44) at the 6:20 mark, before the Generals began chipping away at the deficit. An Ey triple triggered a 16-5 W&L scoring run that inched the Generals to within seven points (67-60) with 3:33 to play.
W&L managed to get within four points (74-70) in the final minute, but Randolph connected on 9-of-12 attempts from free-throw line down the stretch to preserve the eight-point win.
For the game, W&L shot a woeful 34.9 percent (22-63) from the field, including 27.6 percent (8-29) from beyond the arc. Conversely, Randolph connected on 56.1 percent (23-41) of its field goal attempts, including 61.9 percent (13-21) in the first period, and held a 38-29 advantage on the boards.
The Generals were led by Ey, who tallied 17 points and eight rebounds, while first-year guard Javon McDonald (Schaumburg, Ill./Schaumburg) also recorded 17 points. Whitaker chipped in 12 points before fouling out and Gill netted 10 markers.
Sophomore guard Mike Ehilegbu lead the WildCats with a game-high 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field. Hunt scored 19 points, including a perfect 13-of-13 showing at the charity stripe, and senior Derrick Woods-Morrow scored nine points to go with 10 boards.
The Generals return to action on Wednesday when they host Guilford at 7:30 pm.