Randolph Stuns R-MC for Title Game Berth
WildCats Force Showdown with Marlins for Conference Crown
SALEM, Va. --- First-year guard Zach Desgain
(Richmond, VA/J.R. Tucker) hit a huge three-pointer with a little
over a minute to play to put Randolph College up two possessions,
which the WildCats held on to for a 58-51 victory over No. 2 seed
Randolph-Macon College in the ODAC semifinals Saturday evening from
the Salem Civic Center.
With the victory, the Randolph College advances to its second straight ODAC title game. The WildCats will take on top-seeded and nationally-ranked Virginia Wesleyan College on Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. VWC advanced to the -championship with a 67-65 come from behind win over Hampden-Sydney College.
Randolph and Randolph-Macon traded the lead several times in the early going before two free throws from Colton Hunt (Whittier, NC/Smoky Mountain) tied the game 9-all. The WildCats went on a 10-1 run over the next six minutes, with eight points coming from senior forward Derrick Woods-Morrow (Greensboro, NC/NE Guilford) .
That’s when the Yellow Jackets defense came to life, holding Randolph to only four points over the final 9:54 of the half in pulling ahead at the break by eight after a buzzer beater by Calvin Croskey. Woods-Morrow had 10 points in the first to lead the WildCats, while Hunt had five points.
Croskey led R-MC (21-6) with nine points in the opening stanza, as the Yellow Jackets shot 41.4 percent from the field in the half, nailing four-of-six from downtown.
Randolph held Randolph-Macon to only 20 points and six field goals in the second frame. With R-MC up nine at 34-25, the WildCats went on a 9-0 run to tie the score, with Hunt, Woods-Morrow and Desgain all posting three points in the spurt.
The WildCats surged ahead by six with 11:22 left on a lay-up by Hunt, and led by as much as seven after a layup from senior Julius Thomas (Chesapeake, VA/Stonebridge) in transition. Six straight points from the Yellow Jackets made the game 48-47 in favor of Randolph.
After some juggling of the score, the game knotted at 51 with 2:09 left. Hunt hit a big layup with 1:54 left, and Randolph got a defensive stop which would set up the biggest possession of the game. After a timeout, Desgain came around a screen and drilled a three as the shot clock neared zero to put Randolph up by five.
Randolph wouldn’t allow another point over the last minute, clinching the game on two free throws from sophomore Mike Ehilegbu (Raleigh, NC/Ravenscroft) . Woods-Morrow finished with game highs of 20 points and 16 rebounds, making seven-of-11 from the field. Hunt had 14 points, while Desgain posted eight points, six assists and four boards. Randolph shot 38.2 percent from the floor.
Randolph-Macon was paced by Dylan Cole, Croskey and Andre Simon, all of whom finished with nine points. Lamar Giggetts had 10 boards, eight points and six helpers for R-MC.
--- This release is
courtesy of the Randolph College sports information department.