Women's Basketball secures thrilling 53-48 win at Randolph

Andi Carrandi

LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Washington and Lee women's basketball team overcame a late Randolph run to hold on for a 53-48 road win in ODAC action on Wednesday night.

Entering the final period with a 36-30 lead, the W&L (9-6, 5-3 ODAC) lead swelled to seven points over the first four minutes of the fourth, but the WildCats (3-11, 1-6 ODAC) came back with 10 straight points over a 2:46 span to claim their first lead, 46-43, since early in the first quarter.

First-year guard Erin Addison (Waxhaw, N.C./Weddington) then nailed a jumper, followed by a triple from sophomore guard Erin Hughes (Raleigh, N.C./Ravenscroft School) to put W&L back in front by two points with 1:52 to play. Randolph then connected on just 2-of-4 free throws over their next three possessions, with W&L junior forward Andy Smithey (Charlotte, N.C./Saint Mary's School) adding a free throw of her own to keep the Generals ahead, 49-48, with 30 seconds left.

Smithey went to the line again with 21 seconds on the clock and sank both shots, before the Generals forced two missed shots on the ensuing Randolph possession. Hughes was then fouled with 1.1 on the clock and connected on both free throws to seal the win.

Both sides exchanged a basket to open the third before the Generals scored six straight points to move ahead, 29-19. The WildCats countered with five straight points, followed by W&L taking a 7-6 advantage the rest of the quarter, helped by five points from Addison, to take a 36-30 lead into the fourth.

Trailing by nine entering the second quarter, Randolph stepped up its defensive efforts at the start of the period, holding the Generals to just two points, while scoring eight of its own, to cut the W&L lead down to 16-13 with 3:23 left in the half. The Generals broke their cold streak on a three pointer from first-year guard Megan Horn (Basking Ridge, N.J./The Pingry School) to go ahead by six points, before the WildCats took four of the final six tallies of the half, leaving W&L in front, 21-17, at halftime.

The Generals' first-quarter defense stifled the WildCats, limiting Randolph to just two made shots on 17 attempts in the first 10 minutes. After a Randolph layup cut the W&L lead down to 7-5 with 3:17 remaining, Addison scored all seven points during a 7-0 run to end the quarter. The five points allowed by W&L in the first quarter marked the third time this season the Generals have limited the opposition to less than six points in the opening frame.

Addison led the way for the Generals' offense with 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field, including 2-for-4 from long range. Smithey chipped in 10 points on 3-for-6 shooting and 4-for-5 at the free throw line, to go along with six rebounds.

First-year forward Jordan Diehl (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro) scored eight points, making four of her six shots, and pulled down 11 rebounds for her fourth game of the season with at least 10 boards. Horn added eight points, six rebounds and six assists, while Hughes tallied seven points and seven rebounds.

The WildCats were paced by junior guard Kalyn Banks and first-year guard Kayla Sink, who both scored 14 points on a combined 8-for-27 from the floor. Banks added 21 rebounds to her line, plus five assists and three steals.

The Generals limited the WildCats to just 28.8-percent shooting (17-of-59) in the game, as the 48 points allowed by W&L were the fewest since giving up only 44 in a win over Hollins on February 19 of last season. The Generals also took advantage of its free throw opportunities, converting 12-of-13 attempts, while Randolph made just 10-of-19 in the contest.

For the game, W&L held an edge over Randolph in second-chance points (10-9) and bench points (18-6), with both sides even in points off turnovers (9-9) and points in the paint (20-20).

The Generals will conclude their three-game road trip on Saturday when they visit Virginia Wesleyan for a 2:00 pm ODAC showdown.

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