RALEIGH, N.C.- Three Randolph starters reached double figures as the men's basketball team defeated William Peace on the road 84-73 on Wednesday. The win gives the WildCats a record of 2-0 to start the season.
Jerry Goodman (Suffolk, Va./Portsmouth Christian School), who would go on to score 12 points on the evening, got it started for Randolph as he hit a three-point shot nine seconds into the game. The WildCats got out to a 6-3 lead but an 8-0 run by the Pacers put the home team ahead 11-6 at 15:42.
An AJ Marshall (Lake Mary, Fla./Lake Mary Prep) three tied the game at 13-all at 12:36 and that started a 13-0 run that gave Randolph a double-digit advantage, 23-13, with 10:50 showing on the game clock. The 'Cats upped their advantage with a pair of treys by Sammy Hooper (Richmond, Va./Midlothian) to 29-18 at 8:02.
William Peace slowly closed the gap and got the score to within six points, 37-31, with 47 ticks left until halftime. The deficit remained at six at the break.
In the second half, Brian Smith (Dumfries, Va./C.D. Hylton) started off with a layup to give Randolph a 41-33 lead 22 seconds in. The Pacers would not back down as an 8-0 run put them ahead 46-45 at 15:17. That lead was short lived as Smith answered for Randolph with a three to put the WildCats ahead 48-46.
It was still a one-possession game, 51-48, with 12:44 remaining to play. A 12-0 'Cat run blew the game open as Randolph's lead grew to 65-48 with 9:30 left. The WildCats' double-digit lead remained for the rest of the half as William Peace could get no closer than 11 points.
"Extremely happy for the guys to get a road win," said head coach Pete Hamilton afterwards. "We had a lot of young guys make some timely plays in the second half. AJ Marshall gave great minutes and was a part of a lineup in the second that pushed the lead to 18. Jerry Goodman hit some timely shots to keep Peace just out of striking range. I hope the contributions across the board can help give us some confidence moving forward."
Randolph shot 57.1% from beyond the three-point arc compared to just under 38% for the Pacers. Overall, the WildCats were 28-of-54 (51.9%) from the floor to William Peace's 24-of-59 (40.7%).
Both Hooper and Smith finished with 23 points each. Hooper added 10 rebounds and five assists while Smith had four rebounds and four assists. Marshall scored 10 points and dished out three assists in 15 minutes off of the bench. Elijah Ford (Chantilly, Va./Chantilly) grabbed 10 rebounds to go along with three points and three assists.
Second chance points favored Randolph 16-8 as did points in the paint 25-24. The WildCats also had the rebounding advantage 38-27.
"We've got to clean a lot of things up from a detail standpoint," Hamilton noted. "We certainly aren't where we want to be but our guys are ready to work. It's nice to have some vets like Sammy Hooper and Brian Smith that can make up for some of those mistakes early on."
Next up for the WildCats is a trip across town for a game with ODAC rival Lynchburg on Saturday. Game time will be at 2:00 p.m.