LYNCHBURG, Va.- The Randolph men's basketball team hosted Southern Virginia in the final home game of 2018 on Saturday afternoon. The WildCats trailed by only two points at halftime but the Knights opened the second half with a big run to quickly expand its lead and would go on win 87-68.
SVU led 5-0 early in the first half but a three-point shot from Brian Smith (Dumfries, Va./C.D.Hylton) and a layup from CJ Loving (Madison Heights, Va./Amherst County) tied the game 5-all. Randolph went ahead on an 8-2 run to go up 15-10 with 15:42 showing on the clock.
The WildCats were able to stay out in front of the Knights for over six and a half minutes of game time and led by as much as six points, 25-19, with 9:50 remaining in the half. Southern Virginia then mounted a 13-0 run to go up 32-25 with 7:16 left to play.
The 'Cats were able to cut their deficit to one point, 36-35, following a three-point basket from Jerry Goodman (Suffolk, Va./Portsmouth Christian School). The Knights' Tyler McCreadie answered with a layup to make it 38-35 and Brandon Schlick (Virginia Beach, Va./Greenbrier Christian) countered with a three of his own to tie the contest at 38-38 with 2:18 remaining. The Knights would take a 42-20 lead after a jumper from Try Dill at the break.
In the second half, it was a 45-43 lead for the Knights after Loving swished a three-pointer. An 11-0 Knight run staked the visitors to a 56-43 advantage at 15:46. Goodman made back-to-back layups for the WildCats to get the score to 56-47. SVU's lead was 10 points after Sammy Hooper's (Richmond, Va./Midlothian) layup with 12:42 remaining to play. A 10-0 Knight run put the game out of reach as Southern Virginia's advantage grew to 69-49 with 10:36 remaining.
"The crazy thing is they actually took the shots in the second half - for the most part- that we wanted them to take," said head coach Pete Hamilton afterwards. "Some weren't as contested as we should be but overall the shot chart looked right. They made some tough ones and continued to make them consistently."
The Knights were 34-of-64 (53.1%) from the floor overall for the game while Randolph was 27-of-75 (36%). Three point percentage gave a six point advantage to Southern Virginia (34.6%-28.6%).
Randolph did control the boards 44-41. The WildCats committed just 11 turnovers which tied for the second-lowest in a game this season. The WildCats did lead in second chance points 15-8 and in the paint 36-32. The 'Cats received 35 points from its bench to the Knights' 10.
"We felt like at halftime with the adjustments we would be fine," noted Hamilton. It was a great job offensively by SVU to step up to make plays."
Smith led Randolph with 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting. Hooper added 10 points and dished out five assists. Goodman added 10 points and three rebounds. Drew Hayden (Vinton, Va./William Byrd) added eight points and seven rebounds.
The WildCats will next head to Huntingdon, Pa. on Thursday to take on Juniata in the Comfort Inn Holiday Tournament. Game time will be at 7:00 p.m.