ASHLAND, Va. – Sophomore forward Kelly Williams scored a game-high 27 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead Randolph-Macon to a 76-69 ODAC women's basketball victory over Washington and Lee on Tuesday night at Crenshaw Gymnasium.
Neither team could gain much separation through the first period and a half, as the Yellow Jackets (4-1, 1-0) held just a 28-26 edge with 3:42 remaining in the second period. R-MC then went on a 17-6 run over a span of eight minutes of game action across the second and third periods to assume a 45-32 lead with 4:40 remaining in the penultimate period. Williams was the key cog in the spurt, tallying seven points.
The squads traded baskets in the final minutes of the third, and R-MC took a 56-44 advantage into the fourth. Randolph-Macon maintained its lead in the opening minutes of the final period, and then pushed the advantage to the largest of the contest (65-47) with 5:52 remaining on the clock off of a layup by Williams.
The Generals (4-1, 0-1) used a 6-0 run over the next 2:25 to cut the lead to 12 (65-53) with 2:53 remaining. First-year guard Katie Popp (Rye, N.Y. / Rye) scored three of the six points from the charity stripe. The two teams exchanged baskets on the ensuing possessions with R-MC maintaining a 69-55 lead with 2:12 left. W&L cut the deficit to eight (69-61) on back-to-back three-pointers from sophomore guard Molly Mann (Mathews, N.C. / Weddington) and senior forward Ailyn Kelly (Clifton, Va. / Centreville) by the 1:26 mark.
W&L made one final push with 1:03 left in the contest. First-year guard Erin Hughes (Raleigh, N.C. / Ravenscroft School) scored on an old-fashioned three-point play to start the rally, while Popp hit a layup with 37 seconds left (72-66). First-year guard Elise Knobloch split a pair of free throws to push R-MC's margin back to seven. Hughes hit a three-pointer with 24 seconds left to pull W&L within four (73-69), but it was not enough as the Yellow Jackets hit their free throws in the final seconds to hand the Generals their first loss of the season.
W&L shot 44.3 percent (27-61) from the floor and hit 11-of-19 (.579) from the charity stripe, but could not overcome a 48-35 disadvantage in rebounds. Kelly led the Blue and White with 16 points, eight rebounds and three steals, while senior guard Emily Perszyk (Greendale, Wis. / Greendale) tallied 15 points and three steals. Hughes recorded a career-high 13 points and six boards.
Randolph-Macon shot just 39.7 percent (27-68) from the field and 19-of-32 (.594) from the foul line but held a 17-5 advantage in second chance points. Williams went 11-of-22 from the field and registered seven blocks, while sophomore forward Charlotte Woods totaled 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Washington and Lee plays its home opener on Saturday, when it takes on NYU at 2:00 pm.
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