LYNCHBURG, VA — First-year forward Jensen Hoover (Woodstock, VA/Central) nailed a lay-up off a nice pass from Bri Lowry (Herndon, VA/Herndon) with seven seconds left to propel the Randolph College women's basketball team to a 51-49 non-conference victory over Barber-Scotia College Saturday from the Randolph Athletics and Dance (RAD) Center.
The WildCats (3-5) trailed by two with five minutes to go, but tied the game with 3:26 left on a pair of free throws from junior Olivia Johnson (Monroe, NC/Union Academy). With the score tied at 49 with under a minute left, Lowry found Jensen on the right block for the hoop and the harm. Hoover missed the free throw, but a late attempt by B-SC clanged off the back iron as the buzzer sounded.
All of this happened after a very strong start for the WildCats, as they took their largest lead of the game early on at 9-2. The Sabers (3-10) responded with 10 straight points to take their first edge at 12-11, but Randolph forged ahead to take a 20-14 lead after a lay-up from Hoover with under 10 minutes to go in the first stanza.
The lead would change hands four times over the first period, as the WildCats took a 30-27 lead into the locker room. In the second half, the hosts would build their lead up to six at 46-40 with eight minutes left, but the Sabers put together the next eight points and last lead of the night at 48-46 to set up the winning heroics for Randolph.
Lowry finished with a game-high 12 points for Randolph, as she also had five assists and five steals. Hoover had her best game as a collegiate, posting seven points and six rebounds, while Chelsea Tyler (Richmond, VA/Henrico) chalked up a career-high 11 points to go with seven caroms.
First-year Megan Russell (Pinnacle, NC/West Stokes) had nine points and a team-high 13 rebounds, five coming on the offensive glass. The key stat for Randolph was its free throw efficiency, as the WildCats mad 18-of-25 (72 percent) from the line. In contrast, Barber-Scotia was only four-of-13 (30.8 percent) from the charity stripe.
B-SC was paced by Darrian Bush, who finished with 11 points and six rebounds. The Sabers also got nine points and 13 rebounds (11 offensive) from Lindsay Lee, while Tesha Wilson had the rare triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 turnovers. Barber-Scotia shot only 28.8 percent (21-73) from the floor, and despite 26 offensive rebounds only finished with 13 second-chance points.
Randolph will now break for the Holidays but will return to action on December 30 against the Cougars of Averett University at 6 p.m. as game two of the WildCat's seven-game homestand in the RAD Center.