LEXINGTON, Va. – Junior guard Taylor Casey (Brentwood, Tenn./Franklin Road Academy) led a third quarter surge, scoring 15 points in the period, to guide the Washington and Lee women's basketball team to a 66-48 win over Randolph on Wednesday evening.
The win propels the Generals to 14-7 overall, 10-4 in the ODAC, as the Generals complete the month of January with an 8-2 record, the most wins in a single month since the 2009-10 team won nine games in February. The WildCats fell to 4-16 overall and 2-11 in conference with the loss.
Both teams struggled to score during the opening four minutes, as Randolph led just 4-2 at the 5:49 mark, before the Generals scored the next seven points over a 1:28-span to take a 9-4 lead. Over the final four minutes of the frame, both teams traded six points each, as W&L led, 15-10, through one quarter.
The beginning of the second quarter saw a similar result as the start of the first, with the Generals edging the WildCats, 5-4, over the first 5:50 of the frame to extend their lead to 20-14. After a WildCat jumper at the 4:10 mark, Casey splashed home her first triple of the game, before a 7-4 run from W&L closed the half, putting the Generals ahead, 30-21.
The third started with a layup from Randolph nearly a minute into the quarter, before Casey put the team on her back, leading a 15-5 run by scoring 13 points on her own to extend the W&L lead to 45-28 with 5:45 to play in the quarter. During that stretch, Casey connected on 5-of-6 shots from the field, including a triple and two free throws, as she scored the first seven points of the run, as well as the final six.
Randolph responded with a 10-2 run to bring its deficit back down to 47-38 at the 3:01 mark, before W&L scored six of the final seven points in the quarter to head into the fourth leading by a score of 53-39.
The Generals locked the WildCats down in the fourth quarter, limiting them to just nine points on 3-of-18 shooting from the field, and allowing their lead to shrink as small as 10 points early in the frame before extending the margin to the final result of 66-48. W&L held the WildCats off the board for the final 4:01 of the game.
Casey's 20-point performance was her seventh of the season and fourth in the last six games as the junior is leading the way for the W&L offense with 20.2 points per game during that stretch. She made 8-of-18 shots overall, including two three pointers to give her 143 in her career, tied with Louisa Feve '06 for the fourth most in program history. Casey added three rebounds, an assist and a steal to her line in the game.
Junior forward Andy Smithey (Charlotte, N.C./Saint Mary's School) scored 18 points for her 12th consecutive game in double-figure scoring, the longest active streak for the Generals. She also pulled down eight rebounds, her eighth eight-rebound or better performance this season, and set a career high with three blocks in the contest, all in the first half.
First-year guard Jordan Diehl (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro) logged a game-high 10 rebounds, her team-leading fifth game in double-digit rebounds this season, while junior forward Molly Mann (Mathews, N.C./Weddington) added six rebounds and a career-high four blocks, including two in one possession in the fourth quarter, in 17 minutes off the bench.
Despite scoring only seven points, first-year guard Megan Horn (Basking Ridge, N.J./The Pingry School) filled the stat sheet with seven boards, six dimes and three steals, while first-year guard Erin Addison (Waxhaw, N.C./Weddington) tallied six points, four rebounds and two steals in 29 minutes off the bench.
The WildCats were paced by first-year guard Mikayla Sink and junior guard Kalyn Banks, who both scored 14 points on a combined 9-of-31 shooting from the field. Banks added eight rebounds in the contest, while first-year guard Yanessa Cabrera tallied a team-high nine rebounds, to go along with four assists.
The Generals held the WildCats to 27.3-percent shooting (18-of-66) from the field, the seventh game of the season in which the W&L defense has held its opposition under 33.3-percent. W&L connected on 75 percent (15-of-20) of its free throws and won the rebounding battle, 47-39, while also edging Randolph in points in the paint (36-20), fast break points (12-7) and bench points (10-9).
W&L will be back on the hardwood on Saturday when it travels to face first-place Guilford (15-5, 12-2 ODAC) in a 2:00 pm showdown.
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