LEXINGTON, Va. – A quick scoring spurt to open overtime led the Washington and Lee women's basketball team to its second win in as many games over a top 25 opponent this season, as the Generals downed the 22nd-ranked Randolph-Macon Yellow Jackets, 81-77, on Wednesday.
W&L (7-5, 4-2 ODAC) entered the fourth quarter with a 51-48 lead and, after both teams scored two points, proceeded to go on a 9-1 run to build an 11-point lead with 6:42 remaining in the game, the largest lead in the contest for either side. The Yellow Jackets (10-3, 5-1 ODAC) battled back right away with a 14-2 run to take a 65-64 lead with 1:26 left to play.
After three points from the Generals and a layup from the Yellow Jackets left the game tied, 67-67, with 14 seconds remaining, first-year guard Megan Horn (Basking Ridge, N.J./The Pingry School) sank a pair of free throws after being fouled to give W&L a two-point lead. But Yellow Jackets' junior guard Michal Ross countered with two of her own free throws to send the game into overtime.
In the extra period, W&L scored the first four points, two each from sophomore guard/forward Erin Hughes (Raleigh, N.C./Ravenscroft School) and Horn. After both sides scored four points, Horn nailed a three pointer to put W&L up five with 38 seconds remaining to seal the win before the final tallies went on the board.
The Yellow Jackets opened the third quarter on an 8-2 run to cut the W&L lead to 34-33 with 7:02 on the clock, before an 8-1 Generals run put W&L back ahead by eight points. Randolph-Macon battled the rest of the quarter, however, outscoring W&L, 14-9, from the 3:38-mark to bring the Generals' lead back down to three points heading into the final frame.
With the Generals leading, 12-8, at the start of the second quarter, both teams scored six points apiece over the first four minutes to keep W&L ahead by four. Randolph-Macon then went on a 13-6 run over the next minute and a half to take a 21-18 lead. W&L countered with a 14-4 run to close the half, led by junior forward Andy Smithey (Charlotte, N.C./Saint Mary's School), who scored seven points during the run, as the Generals went into halftime ahead by a score of 32-25.
Both teams went scoreless through nearly the first three minutes of the opening quarter before the Yellow Jackets got on the board first at 7:04 with a layup. After that, the Generals scored eight straight points to take a six-point lead. The Yellow Jackets countered with six straight points to tie the game, before W&L closed the quarter with four points to take a 12-8 lead into the second.
The Generals were led by Smithey, who scored a season-high 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting to go along with six rebounds and a block. First-year forward Jordan Diehl (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro) also turned in a season-high effort in points, tallying 14 in addition to a season-high 14 boards to record her first-career double-double. Horn finished the game with 13 points, six rebounds, seven assists and three steals.
Junior guard Taylor Casey (Brentwood, Tenn./Franklin Road Academy) scored 12 points to extend her streak of double-figure scoring games to 12, while Groninger matched Casey with 12 points of her own. Hughes notched 10 points, marking the first time since January 23, 2014, that W&L had all five starters in double figures and had six players overall score 10 or more points. Hughes added eight rebounds to her line and a pair of assists.
The Yellow Jackets were paced by Ross, who turned in a 29-point, 11-rebound double-double in 31 minutes off the bench. She shot 11-of-21 from the field and made all seven of her free throw attempts. Senior guard Kelly Wisner scored 14 points and logged two rebounds and three assists, while junior forward Charlotte Woods tallied nine points with 14 boards.
The Generals made 30-of-75 shots from the field (.400) and limited the Yellow Jackets to 25-of-75 (.333), including 6-of-23 (.261) from long range. W&L pulled in 57 rebounds to 48 for Randolph-Macon, the highest rebounding output for W&L since grabbing 60 boards in a 74-50 win against Chatham on December 21, 2015.
W&L held a plus-four turnover margin in the game, and edged the Yellow Jackets in points in the paint (42-30). Randolph-Macon held advantages in fast break points (14-12) and bench points (42-17).
The Generals will return to action on Saturday when they step out of conference play to host Gallaudet in a 1:00 pm tip-off.
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