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Badger Scores Career-High 26 as R-MC Outlasts Randolph

Badger Scores Career-High 26 as R-MC Outlasts Randolph

SALEM, Va. - Senior Marcus Badger (Plymouth Meeting, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh) scored a career-high 26 points as the top-seeded Randolph-Macon men's basketball team used a late 10-0 run to survive against No. 8 Randolph 72-63 Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the ODAC Tournament at the Salem Civic Center.

Badger, a First Team All-ODAC selection, went 7 for 10 from the floor and 12 of 13 from the free throw line for the top-ranked Yellow Jackets (24-2), who won their 21st consecutive game.

Zach Desgain sank two foul shots for the Wildcats (13-14) with 4:42 remaining to knot the score at 58. R-MC would score 10 straight over the next four minutes. Senior Joe Hassell (Portsmouth, Va./Indian River) converted a three-point play with 4:22 to go to give the Yellow Jackets the lead for good. Hassell hit a 12-foot jumper with the shot clock running down to make it 63-58 with 3:05 remaining. Badger had a steal and an assist on a layup by junior Lamont Moore (Waverly, Va./Tidewater Academy) to make it a seven-point contest at 65-58 with just under two minutes remaining. Badger converted a free throw and senior Chris Hamilton (Bellbrook, Ohio/Bellbrook) sank a pair of foul shots with 33.9 seconds left to make it a 10-point contest at 68-58.

The R-MC defense held Randolph without a field goal for more than six minutes. Desgain had a layup with 6:30 to go and he hit a three-pointer for his team's next field goal with 26 seconds remaining. Badger and Hamilton both hit a pair of free throws in the final 25 seconds to make the final 72-63.

The Yellow Jackets hit 24 of 31 free throw attempts (.774), including 19 of 25 (.760) in the second half. The Wildcats were 7 for 7 from the charity stripe, all in the second half.

R-MC built a six-point lead at 43-37 four minutes into the second half. The Yellow Jackets were up by five at 57-52 with 6:46 remaining before a 6-1 spurt by the Wildcats tied it at 58.

Corey Brown hit a pair of three-pointers as the Wildcats jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead. The Yellow Jackets scored six straight to take an 8-6 lead with 16:45 left in the first period. Badger scored R-MC's first six points of the contest. The teams stayed within four points of each other through the first 16 minutes. Badger sank a pair of free throws with 3:43 remaining to give the Yellow Jackets a 30-25 lead. Randolph scored five of the final seven points of the half and trailed 32-30 at the break. Badger had 12 points in the first period, going 4 for 5 from the floor and 4 for 4 from the free throw line.

Hassell, a First Team All-ODAC pick, finished with 20 points and five rebounds. Hamilton, a Third Team All-ODAC selection, had 10 points. Senior Evan Jackson (Richmond, Va./Deep Run) had four points and led R-MC with seven rebounds.

Desgain paced the Wildcats with 21 points.

Randolph-Macon advances to the semifinals of the ODAC Tournament. The Yellow Jackets will face No. 4 Eastern Mennonite on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 1 p.m. The Royals edged No. 5 Lynchburg 65-62 in their quarterfinal contest.