LYNCHBURG, Va. – Senior forward Andrew Franz (Charlotte, N.C. / Ravenscroft) set a school record by shooting 10-for-10 from the field, but his season-high 26 points were not enough as the 11th-seeded Washington and Lee men's basketball team fell to sixth-seeded Randolph by a score of 71-65 on Tuesday evening at the RAD Center.
The Generals (10-16) held a 29-26 lead at the halftime break and maintained a four-point advantage (35-31) with 17:35 left to play. However, the WildCats (15-11) used a 15-4 run over the next 5:04 to assume a 46-39 lead with 12:31 remaining. Senior guard Zach Desgain did much of the damage during the run, scoring nine points during the stretch.
W&L responded with a 7-0 run courtesy of five points from Franz and two from senior forward Jok Asiyo (Stroudsburg, Pa. / Pocono Mountain East) to knot the game at 46-46 with 7:49 left. Each team traded a three-pointer over the next 1:27, but the WildCats took the lead for good on a pair of free throws by sophomore guard Ryan Fields with 6:03 to play.
Randolph could not pull away from that point, but the Generals couldn't pull even either as the closest they would come for the remainder of the game was two points (67-65) on a layup by first-year guard Devin Kearns (Cibolo, Texas / Samuel Clemens) with 13 seconds remaining. From there, the WildCats made all four of their free throws to hold on for the six-point win.
W&L shot 56.5 percent (13-23) from the floor in the second half behind Franz's 8-for-8 performance in the final 20 minutes. However, Randolph matched the effort, shooting 57.7 percent (15-26) to hold on for the win.
Franz hit all three of his shots from distance and went 3-of-5 at the foul line en route to his record performance. The former record for field goal percentage (15-16, .938) was held by Hamill Jones '04 since 2002.
Sophomore center Clayton Murtha (Dallas, Texas / Highland Park) contributed 12 points and seven rebounds, while junior guard Andy Kleinlein (Chesterfield, Mo. / Chaminade College Prep) and sophomore forward Nicholas George (Charleston, W. Va. / Charleston Catholic) added nine points each.
Desgain paced the WildCats with 22 points. First-year forward Josh Freund chipped in 14 points and seven boards as well.
With the loss, Washington and Lee has now completed the 2015-16 campaign. Randolph advances to the quarterfinals where it will face third-seeded Roanoke on Friday at 8:00 pm.