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Second Half Comeback Not Enough Against Juniata

Charlotte Woods makes a basket

ASHLAND, Va. -- Randolph-Macon outscored Juniata 35-29 in the second half, but it was not enough for the Yellow Jackets to overcome the visiting Eagles in tournament action in Ashland Friday night as Juniata got the 65-62 win over the tournament hosts. The game was part of the R-MC Tip-Off Classic presented by Riesbeck Contracting. The Eagles moved to 2-0 on the season with the win while the Yellow Jackets dropped to 1-1.

The first quarter began in a tough way for the Yellow Jackets. Juniata got out to the 4-1 lead and advanced it to 6-2 and 8-4. R-MC got an additional basket before Juniata got out to their largest lead of the first quarter at ten points, 16-6.  The team shot just 17% from the floor in the periods, with just three shots getting through the net compared to Juniata's 46% shooting. Sophomore Kelly Williams (Garysburg, N.C. / Halifax Academy) had six points in the frame while junior Jayla Wade (Newport News, Va. / Heritage) had a field goal to total two points. Sophomore Charlotte Woods (Richmond, Va. / Trinity) led the Yellow Jackets on the boards with six rebounds. The Eagles had the 16-8 advantage heading into the second quarter.

The shooting troubles continued in the second frame. The Yellow Jackets shot 33% from the floor while the Eagles were able to send 50% of shots through the hoop. R-MC tried a significant amount more of shots in the quarter though, putting up 27 field goals. The Eagles doubled their lead to 29-13 before R-MC began to close on the lead during the last three minutes of the second period. Woods and Williams both got layups with under 90 seconds remaining to help keep the Eagles' lead under double-digits heading into the intermission.  Williams doubled her first half output with six points to total 12 in the first half. She also pulled down five rebounds in the quarter. Freshman Becca Arrington (Amelia, Va. / Amelia Academy) finished the half with three assists.  

Juniata came out of the break with more shooting. They got five quick points; but that's when R-MC responded. The Yellow Jackets went on a 12-2 run to close the gap to 46-39. Throughout the quarter, R-MC inched closer. Williams and Woods got a pair of layups to close the period out and take renewed energy into the fourth quarter. The Eagles had just a 49-46 advantage coming out of the frame.

In the fourth quarter, the two teams traded points for much of the first three minutes. But R-MC got the biggest shot of the game to that point with three-pointer by junior Kelsey Wisner (York, Pa. / Central York), which brought the game within three at the 6:40 mark. Juniata inched away again with a pair of field goals, but R-MC marched right back, bringing the game within three points again with a Woods layup and Williams making a free throw. Arrington hit a crucial three-point jumper to take the game to 63-62 in Juniata's favor, but the Eagles hit their free throws down the stretch and walked away with the victory.

Randolph-Macon finished shooting 27% on the night and shot 41% from the free throw line compared to Juniata's 43% and 63% in the same categories. Williams finished with a double-double, scoring 21 points and 25 rebounds. She had the game high in both categories. Woods also tallied a double-double, the first of her career,  scoring 14 points and pulling down 19 rebounds, including 11 rebounds of the offensive variety. Those were career highs for her as well.  Freshman Elise Knobloch (Glenville, Pa. / Delone Catholic) got six steals in her 23 minutes of action, while Wisner tallied five points and five steals. Arrington finished 2-5 from beyond the arc and finished with seven points and six rebounds. She was the team's assist leader as well with five. Wade came away with 15 points in her 35 minutes of work.

In other tournament action, Bridgewater took down Methodist 77-48. Bridgewater will play first tomorrow as they take on Juniata at 2:00 PM at Crenshaw Gymnasium. That game will be followed by Randolph-Macon against Methodist at 4:00 PM.