LYNCHBURG, Va.- Having just played 10 days ago in Greensboro, Randolph and Guilford men's basketball faced off again at the RAD Center on Saturday afternoon. The WildCats stormed back from a double-digit first half deficit but the Quakers held off the 'Cats in the end as they won 60-52.
Randolph's overall record falls to 6-10 overall and 1-6 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Guilford improves to 11-5 and 5-2 in the ODAC.
The Quakers started off on a 13-2 run to start the game as Randolph quickly fell behind. The WildCats were able to recover and get the score to 18-15 following back-to-back layups from Zach Hinton (Manassas, Va./Stonewall Jackson). It was a four-point lead for GC, 23-19, with 6:46 remaining until halftime when the Quakers went on an 8-1 run to close out the half and go into the locker room ahead by 11 points again, 31-20.
Randolph came out strong in the second half with a 10-0 run to surprise Guilford and trail 31-30 less than three minutes in. The 'Cats tied it up at 35-35 on a three from Sammy Hooper (Richmond, Va./Midlothian) and went ahead on a Justin Dula (Taylorsville, N.C./Alexander Central) layup 37-35.
Guilford would tie and go ahead 38-37 after a free throw by Steve Ruszala at 13:53. The Quaker advantage grew to 43-37 until a Jerry Goodman (Suffolk, Va./Portsmouth Christian School) three-point bucket cut the deficit to three points, 43-40. Randolph kept the score at a two-possession or one possession game for the next several minutes of game time. The WildCats trailed 53-51 with 2:06 remaining to play and still had a chance to get the win. Guilford prevented that from happening as it held Randolph scoreless and used a 7-0 run to close out the game.
"Not every game in the past two weeks have we played 40 minutes that you can say 'You know what, that was effort, that was intensity, that was college basketball for 40 minutes," said head coach Pete Hamilton. I think today we put 40 minutes together of effort and execution. I think we did things the right way today."
Guiford was only slightly better than Randolph in overall shooting as it was 23-of-61 (37.7%) to the 'Cats 22-of-64 (34.4%). The Quakers led in rebounds 43-41. Both teams committed 15 turnovers with GC scoring 17 points off of them to just six for Randolph. Second chance points were even at 11-all. Randolph led in the paint 34-30 and in bench points 19-14.
Elijah Ford (Chantilly, Va./Chantilly) led the WildCats with eight points and 13 rebounds. Dula added seven points and eight rebounds.
Randolph is home again this Wednesday when they host Hampden-Sydney. Game time will be at 7:00 p.m.