LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Randolph College women's basketball team kicked off its 2017-18 season with a bang as the WildCats defeated visiting Meredith College, 72-55 in the RAD Center on Wednesday evening.
"For the first game, I am just proud that they came out and they showed a lot of heart, hustle and fight and they gave it their all," said head coach Andrea Kendall. "We have a couple of things to fix before Saturday but I believe that we can compete down there and do really well but we do have to get better defensively."
The WildCats opened up a 10-2 gap early in the first quarter but the Avenging Angels managed to slice the deficit to 10-9 with 4:40 left to play. Randolph continued to push the pace, jumping ahead 16-12 off of a layup by Kalyn Banks (Clinton, Md./From The Heart Christian School). The WildCats extended their lead to 21-17 before Meredith trimmed the score to 21-19 at the end of the first period.
Once again Randolph took off with the lead, extending its advantage to 28-19 off of a Taylor Samuels (Springfield, Va./West Springfield) 3-pointer. After a brief intermission taken by the Avenging Angels, Meredith started to slowly close the points gap and only trailed by four (34-30) heading into halftime.
The WIldCats outshot the Avenging Angels, 17-6, in the third quarter for a large 51-36 margin heading into the final period. Despite Meredith's hard fought efforts to trim the deficit, bringing the score to 65-51, Randolph never let up on the offensive pressure to cruise to a comfortable 72-55 margin and secure its first win of the new season.
Randolph stuffed the stat sheet as the WildCats edged the Avenging Angels 47-36 in rebounds while shooting 45.3 percent (29-of-64) from the lane, 44.4 percent (4-of-9) beyond the arc and 58.8 percent (10-of-17) from the charity stripe. The WIldCats also converted 19 points off of turnovers while racking up 20 second chance points and 14 points off the bench.
Banks made 6-of-9 shots from the floor and 3-of-6 shots from the foul line to put up 15 points for the Randolph offense while Alexis Calloway (Williamsburg, Va./Bruton) notched a double-double 12 points and 13 rebounds. Samuels chipped in 11 points while Maura McMahon (Blacksburg, Va./Blacksburg) and Daijah Johnson (Beltsville, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) each put up 10 points. Johnson also finished the night with a game-high seven assists and five steals.
The WildCats head out on the road to compete in the Jean Edge Classic hosted by NC Wesleyan College from Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 18-19. Randolph's first game of the weekend is set for 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18 against Greensboro College.