LEXINGTON, Va. – Washington and Lee rode a 31-point third period to a 65-62 victory over Randolph in ODAC women's basketball action on Wednesday afternoon at the Warner Center.
The Generals (6-5, 2-1) shot just 18.2 percent (2-11) and committed seven turnovers in the first period, as the WildCats (6-6, 1-2) jumped out to a 12-1 lead in the opening 6:46 of the contest. W&L shot only slightly better in the second period (4-16, .250) and Randolph junior guard Daijah Johnson tallied nine points and seven rebounds in the quarter, as the WildCats carried a nine-point lead (30-21) into the halftime break.
In a stunning reversal from the first half, W&L hit 10-of-14 shots in the third period to turn a nine-point disadvantage into a 52-42 lead entering the final 10 minutes of play. After both teams exchanged made shots on the first four possessions of the second half, the Generals clamped down on defense and hit a variety of field goals to produce a 12-0 run that gave the Blue & White their first lead of the game.
Trailing 34-25, junior guard Emily Perszyk (Greendale, Wis. / Greendale) got the run started with a three-pointer at the 8:02 mark. Junior forward Ailyn Kelly (Clifton, Va. / Centreville) added a jumper and sophomore forward Catherine Hoy (Irvington, N.Y. / Irvington) and first-year forward Andy Smithey (Charlotte, N.C. / Saint Mary's School) both hit a pair of free throws to knot the game at 34-34 with 5:25 remaining in the penultimate quarter. Perszyk then knocked down another triple to make it 37-34 with 4:41 left. First-year guard Taylor Casey (Brentwood, Tenn. / Franklin Road Academy) drained a pair of three's herself in a span of 40 seconds and Perszyk recorded six more points before the end of the period.
W&L led 55-44 with 7:04 left in the game following another Casey shot from distance, but seven straight points from junior guard Taylor Samuels keyed a 15-6 WildCat run over the next 6:16 that made it a one-point game (60-59) with 48 seconds left. The Generals missed a layup on the next possession with 24 seconds left, but Randolph turned it over after gaining the rebound and Casey made 1-of-2 free throws with 17 second remaining to give W&L a 61-59 lead. Kelly rebounded the miss and was fouled with 14 seconds left, hitting a pair of free throws to give the Generals a 63-59 lead. Sophomore guard Danielle Rizzari cut it to a one-point game (63-62) on a three-pointer with nine seconds left, but Perszyk made two free throws with five seconds remaining and Rizzari missed a jumper at the buzzer.
W&L finished 19-of-57 (.333) from the floor, but hit 20-of-28 (.714) free throws. The Generals also committed just six turnovers after the half to finish with 16 on the evening.
Perszyk tied a season-high with 25 points and also tied a career-high with seven rebounds to lead the Generals, who won their fourth straight contest. Casey totaled 13 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Kelly had nine points and nine rebounds.
Randolph shot 41.2 percent (28-68) from the floor, but took just five three throws, hitting four of them. Johnson led the way with 17 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and six steals. Samuels chipped in 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
Washington and Lee will look for a fifth straight win on Saturday when it travels to Roanoke for a 2:00 pm contest.