Second Half Surge Earns Randolph a Win Over LC

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From Randolph athletics:

LYNCHBURG, VA - Randolph College used a 14-1 second-half run to surge ahead and withstood a late charge from hosting Lynchburg College as the WildCats clinched a first-round bye in next week's Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Tournament with a 58-49 road win in conference action from Turner Gym Wednesday.

The win for the WildCats (20-4/11-4 ODAC) was a big one on many levels, as it gave Randolph its first-ever 20 win season in program history as well as moving two games up on Lynchburg and Guilford College. Randolph sits in third place alone currently, one game ahead of its opponent Saturday afternoon in Randolph-Macon College. Also, it was the first win for the WildCats ever in Turner Gym.

The contest didn't start out exactly how the WildCats would have wanted, as Lynchburg senior Michael Wims outscored Randolph 12-2 over the first five minutes to give the hosts an early 10-point edge. Slowly but surely, the WildCats scraped away at the lead pulling to within two with 12:51 left in the first stanza after a lay-up from first-year Corey Brown (Williamsburg, VA/Walsingham).

LC (18-6/9-6 ODAC) pushed its lead back out to eight with 10 minutes to play in the first, but the WildCats edged back to within one just before halftime on a jumper from Chris Battaglia (Smithfield, VA/Portsmouth). Wims led all scorers in the first half with 15, though WildCat senior guard Colton Hunt (Whittier, NC/Smoky Mountain) had 12 points as well.

The Hornets ran the lead back up to five points three minutes into the second half, but that's when the WildCats would turn on the jets. Over the next seven minutes on the clock, Randolph charged ahead with a 19-3 run to take its biggest lead of the game at 11 after a lay-up by DJ Langley (Raleigh, NC/Ravenscroft).

Randolph led by 11 at 45-34 with 6:38 remaining, but the Hornets went on a 9-0 run capped by a jumper from Manny Hernandez to trim the WildCat lead to just two. The visiting 'Cats would show their spirit, holding Lynchburg to just two-of-11 shooting over the last four minutes and making 11 free throws down the stretch for the nine-point victory.

Wednesday was a historic night for Hunt, as he finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and three steals. The point and rebound total helped him become the first ODAC player in league history to post 1,800 points, 600 rebounds, 200 steals and 200 assists in his career. Brown had his second consecutive double-figure game off the bench, posting 12 points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes.

Battaglia finished the contest with eight points and nine rebounds, while Evan Horn (Westminster, MD/Winters Mill) and Mike Ehilegbu (Raleigh, NC/Ravenscroft) added seven points apiece. Randolph made just 17-of-43 (39.5 percent) on the night, but was 20-of-27 from the free throw line.

Lynchburg was paced by the 21 points from Wims, who made nine-of-18 from the floor including three of his six three-point attempts. Andrew Simmons came off the bench to score 12 points as well for the Hornets, who fired 30.3 percent from the field. The 49 points was LC's lowest scoring output of the season.

Randolph will finish its season on Saturday in Ashland with a battle with the Yellow Jackets of Randolph-Macon at 2 p.m. in Crenshaw Gymnasium.


From LC Athletics:

LYNCHBURG, VA - The Randolph College men's basketball team rode a strong second half Wednesday evening en route to a 58-49 victory at Lynchburg College in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) game.

Senior forward Michael Wims was on fire in the first five minutes of the game, netting two three pointers and three jumpers to give the Hornets an early 12-2 lead. Randolph's Colton Hunt drove to the hoop to score the next three baskets and Corey Brown made a layup to cut the lead to 12-10. LC junior Andrew Simmons nailed two jumpers from beyond the three-point arc to extend LC's lead to 18-10, but the WildCats finished the half on a 14-7 run to go into halftime down 25-24.

Hornet senior pivot-man Austin Chillemi scored the first two baskets of the second half in the paint to put LC ahead five, but the middle part of the half went Randolph's way. A 13-1 run gave the visitors a 43-32 lead with 9:35 remaining and the score was 45-34 three minutes later. LC got back into the game after a 9-0 surge to draw within two, and trailed by just five (50-45) with 1:33 left. Randolph sunk eight free throws in the closing minutes to ice the game.

Wims fell just one point short of his career-high with 21 points, hitting 9-18 shots from the floor with three three-pointers and seven rebounds. Simmons finished with 12 points, three assists and three steals. Senior guard Brandan Connor ended with four points, a team-high eight rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals while Chillemi had four points and six rebounds.

Hunt scored 21 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds for Randolph (20-4/11-4 ODAC), hitting 8-of-10 of his free-throw attempts. Corey Brown had 12 points and seven rebounds and Chris Battaglia contributed eight points and nine boards. Randolph took advantage of 27 trips to the charity stripe, converting 20 attempts, while LC shot just six free throws (4-6).

The program's five seniors were honored in pre-game ceremony on Senior Night: Chillemi, Connor, Wims, Robby Kaiser and Mike Glover.

The Hornets (18-6/9-6) travel to Virginia Wesleyan College Saturday for their last regular-season ODAC game at 2 p.m.