LYNCHBURG, Va. – Daijah Johnson (Beltsville, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) posted a career-high 28 points as the Randolph College women's basketball team fell to visiting Averett University, 79-69, on Wednesday afternoon in the RAD Center.
The Cougars held the lead throughout the entire first quarter, but the WildCats started to make up ground, managing to slice the deficit to 28-20. However, Averett would continue to elude Randolph, pulling away to a 42-28 advantage with 1:18 remaining in the second period, but Maura McMahon (Blacksburg, Va./Blacksburg) would put up five points to rope the score to 42-33 heading into halftime.
Randolph started to chip away at Averett's lead in the third quarter, trimming the deficit to 47-41 at the 5:51 mark. The WildCats continued to trail behind the Cougars and eventually saw the point gap increase to 55-43, forcing Randolph to take a brief timeout. Coming out of the break, the Cougars landed a 3-pointer to extend their lead to 58-43 at the conclusion of the third period.
As the fourth and final quarter was underway, Averett pushed its advantage all the way to 70-50 with 4:35 remaining but Randolph was not to be deterred as the WildCats pushed a 15-6 run to close the gap to 76-65. However, Randolph would not be able to trim the deficit any further as the Cougars would maintain a lead of 10 or more points before securing the final 79-69 tally.
In spite of the loss, Randolph shot 49.1 percent (28-of-57) from the field and made 11-of-12 shots (91.7 percent) from the free throw line, which ties for third in free throw percentage made in an individual game, while totaling 32 points in the paint and 44 bench points. Averett finished the game with a 45-32 edge in rebounds.
Johnson made 11-of-17 shots from the floor and 6-of-6 shots from the charity stripe to go along with six rebounds, six assists and three steals for the WildCats. Her 11 made field goals tie for eighth in individual game records.
McMahon chipped in 11 points for the offense while adding five rebounds. Jade Jarvis (Sugar Grove, Va./Rural Retreat) also pulled down five boards for the WildCats while Alexis Calloway (Williamsburg, Va./Bruton) and Lauren Moore (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook) each added two steals.
The WildCats drop to 3-6 on the season and will take a break for the holidays before returning to the RAD Center on Saturday, Dec. 30 to host St. Andrews University at 2 p.m.