SALEM, Va. – Junior Kelsey Wisner (York, Pa./Central York) scored 13 points to combine with double-doubles by sophomores Kelly Williams (Garysburg, N.C./Halifax Academy) and Charlotte Woods (Richmond, Va./Trinity) to lift second-seeded Randolph-Macon to a 65-62 victory over No. 5 Virginia Wesleyan Saturday afternoon in the semifinals of the 2018 ODAC Women's Basketball Championship in the Salem Civic Center.
The Yellow Jackets (20-5) will face top-seeded Emory & Henry for the title on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 1 p.m. in the Salem Civic Center. The Marlins end their season at 14-13.
Wisner went 8 for 8 from the free throw line and nailed a three-pointer midway through the fourth quarter to snap a 54-54 deadlock and put R-MC ahead to stay. She also blocked a potential game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer as the Yellow Jackets held on for the victory.
Williams, the ODAC Player of the Year, posted her 24th double-double of the season with 29 points and 16 rebounds. She had seven field goals and made 15 free throws. Woods, an All-ODAC Third Team selection, registered her 12th double-double, with 11 points and 10 boards.
VWU jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead in the game's first three minutes before a pair of free throws by Wisner halted the run. The Marlins were up 15-8 with four minutes left in the period before R-MC used their own 9-2 spurt to knot the score at 17-17 at the end of the first period.
A layup by Woods gave the Yellow Jackets their first lead at 19-17 early in the second quarter. A 14-7 run by the Marlins gave them a 31-26 advantage with 2:40 remaining. R-MC closed the period on a 5-2 spurt, with Williams scoring all five points, as the Yellow Jackets trailed 33-31 at the break. Williams had 15 points and eight boards in the first half. R-MC had just seven field goals in the first half, but hit 17 of 24 free throws (70.8%).
The teams stayed within two points of each other in the first four minutes of the third quarter before a trey by VWU gave it a 44-39 lead with 5:35 remaining. Wisner hit four straight free throws to make it a one-point game at 44-43. The Marlins extended their advantage back to five at 50-45 before a layup by Woods and a three-pointer by junior Jayla Wade (Newport News, Va./Heritage) tied it at 50-50 with 40 seconds left. A pair of free throws with nine seconds on the clock gave VWU a 52-50 advantage after three.
Wisner hit a jumper early in the final period to level the score at 52-52. The Marlins led 54-52 before a layup by senior Teal Reynolds (Sterling, Va./Potomac Falls) tied it at 54-54 before a three-pointer by Wisner put R-MC ahead for good at 57-54 with just over five minutes remaining. The Yellow Jackets scored their final eight points from the free throw line. Foul shots by Reynolds and Williams gave R-MC its largest lead at 59-54 with 3:15 remaining. VWU cut it to two at 60-58 before Williams sank two free throws to make it 62-58 with 1:10 left. Woods hit a foul shot with 47 seconds left prior to a layup by the Marlins making it 63-60. Williams hit two more free throws with 36 seconds remaining to give the Yellow Jackets a 65-60 advantage. VWU scored with 16 seconds left to make it 65-62. Following a turnover by R-MC, the Marlins had a pair of three-point attempts in the final five seconds, the final on being blocked by Wisner, as the Yellow Jackets prevailed 65-62.
For the game, R-MC hit 31 of 46 free throw attempts for 67.4%.