GREENSBORO, N.C.- Behind a strong shooting performance, the Randolph men's basketball team defeated Greensboro by the score 89-79 on Tuesday night. The win improves the WildCats' record to 3-1 while the Pride fall to 1-2.
The Pride scored the game's first basket of the game on a three-point basket to take the lead but Randolph scored on its first four possessions to go ahead 8-3. Greensboro countered with a three and layup to knot the contest at 8-all.
Randolph took the lead back as Greensboro closed to three points twice with the second occurrence coming at 15:16. An 8-0 run by the WildCats staked them to a 24-13 advantage. The Pride ripped off a 6-0 run to close to 24-19 with less than 13 minutes remaining. The 'Cats used an 18-3 run to blow the game open and lead 42-26 with 6:21 remaining in the half. Greensboro closed the gap but Randolph was able to maintain its double-digit lead at halftime.
The WildCats added to their lead in the second half and had their biggest advantage, 55-37, at 17:31. The Pride were able to chip away and used a 13-2 spurt to cut the lead down to seven points, 60-53.
Randolph once again got back ahead by double figures with the lead growing to 19 points, 85-66, with 5:20 remaining to play. Buoyed by another strong run, this one 9-0, the Pride got the score to 87-78 to once again climb their way back with 1:10 left. The deficit proved to be too much as Randolph was able to hold off the rally and win the game.
Randolph shot a season best 55.2% (32-of-58) from the field. The rebounding edge also went to the WildCats 46-25. While the Pride committed just seven turnovers, the 'Cats turned them into 18 points. Second chance points were 28-8 in Randolph's favor and the WildCats controlled the paint with a 42-24 advantage. Randolph also received big contributions from its bench as it contributed 33 points to just 10 for the Pride.
"What a game," stated head coach Pete Hamilton. "I'm proud of how the guys responded to a chaotic environment throughout. We've been focusing on staying solid with what our execution should look like and for all but one run the guys did a nice job to be consistent with that."
Justin Dula (Taylorsville, N.C./Alexander Central) scored a career-high 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting while also grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out three assists. Sammy Hooper (Richmond, Va./Midlothian) added 13 points, eight rebounds, and three assists. Brian Smith (Dumfries, Va./C.D. Hylton) chipped in 12 points, four rebounds, and three steals. Jerry Goodman (Suffolk, Va./Portsmouth Christian School) led all bench players with 10 points while Drew Hayden (Vinton, Va./William Byrd) and AJ Marshall (Lake Mary, Fla./Lake Mary Prep) both contributed eight points each.
"Drew Hayden and Justin Dula stepped up huge for us tonight," said Hamilton. Those guys battled on the boards, played extremely physical against drivers, and cashed in for us against pressure. If you look at the box score you see a lot of balance tonight and I hope that's something we can continue to grow."
Randolph returns to the RAD Center on Sunday as it hosts Bridgewater in an ODAC contest. Game time will be at 3:00 p.m.