LYNCHBURG, Va. – First-year Mikayla Sink (Lexington, N.C./Central Davidson) posted a team-high 27 points in her debut with the Randolph College women's basketball team as the WildCats fell to visiting Pfeiffer University, 76-72 in their season opener.
After keeping a close score in the first quarter, Sink landed a three-point shot to hand the WildCats a 23-20 edge heading into the second session. Randolph pushed the offensive attack to outscore the Falcons, 20-11 for a comfortable 43-31 margin at intermission.
Coming out of halftime, the Falcons were able to catch up to Randolph, slicing the deficit to 48-46 before taking the lead off a three-pointer with 3:12 remaining in the quarter. Pfeiffer continued to increase its lead, with Randolph trimming the score to 58-51 at the 39-second mark, before cementing a solid 60-51 advantage heading into the final period.
With the score locked at 60-53 in favor of Pfeiffer, the WildCats started to gain momentum and began to quickly chip away at the Falcons' lead. Although Pfeiffer managed to grab a 72-68 advantage, Dominique Jackson (Greensboro, N.C./Ben L. Smith) closed the gap with a lay-up before being sent to the free throw line to complete an and-one play, making it a 72-71 game with just 30 seconds left to play. Jackson would return to the line seconds later to trim the score to 74-72, but despite Randolph receiving several opportunities to send the game into overtime, the WildCats were unable to connect at the free throw line, opening up the chance for Pfeiffer to secure the final 76-72 score.
"I am incredibly proud of the effort, toughness and fight that we showed tonight," said head coach Andrea Kendall. "At some points of the game, we had five freshmen on the floor who were not only competing with Pfeiffer's experienced players but helped give us a lead going into the half.
I truly believe if we had everyone healthy, to put a few other players into rotation, we would have won that game," continued Kendall. "Nonetheless we have an incredibly bright future."
Despite Pfeiffer shooting 40.0 percent (28-of-70) from the floor while holding the WildCats to a 32.5 (26-of-80) shooting percentage, Randolph outshot the Falcons from the three-point range, fashioning a 31.6 (6-of-19) shooting percentage compared to Pfeiffer's 19.0 (4-of-21) percentage, while holding a 53-50 edge in rebounds.
Sink converted 6-of-14 shots from three-point range and connected on 3-of-5 shots from the foul line. Jackson finished the night with 20 points and collected seven rebounds. Kalyn Banks (Clinton, Md./From the Heart Christian School) led the team with nine boards while Sara Streett (Mount Jackson, Va./Stonewall Jackson) and Yanessa Cabrera (Manassas, Va./Stonewall Jackson) also pulled down seven boards. Cabrera also finished the game with six assists and three steals.
The WildCats drop to 0-1 and look for redemption when they host William Peace University on Monday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. in the RAD Center.