Men’s Basketball Ends Skid, Tops Randolph

Senior Tahli Oden, 5, leads the fast break against Randolph.
Senior Tahli Oden, 5, leads the fast break against Randolph.
Staff Photo
The Panther Nation made their voices heard during the game against Randolph.
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  • Calvin Washington, senior, finger rolls a lay-up for two points.

  • Darwin Randolph, junior, takes it to the hoop for two points.

  • Alfredo Abel-Rivera, sophomore, lowers his shoulder and drives the paint.

  • Jikari Johnson, junior, slams the ball through the rim for two points.

  • Senior Assistant Director of Recruiting Justin “Moose” Muse engages the Panther Nation in cheers and spirit.

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After losing six out of the last seven games–and the last five straight–the men’s basketball team notched one on the W side Wednesday, defeating Randolph College 82-67 at Swartz Gym.

It was slow going at first for the Panthers, who took almost 10 minutes into the first period to break into double digits. Ferrum jumped out to an early lead, but the Wildcats surpassed that at the 15:29 mark and held the edge until there was 6:14 left in the half when Ferrum scored on a Charles Tart, junior, lay-up

Coming off the bench, Alfredo Abel-Rivera, sophomore, led all scorers with 12. Bryant Wall, junior, and Tahli Oden, senior, each added six to round out the Panthers’ top scorers on the half. Uncharacteristically, Jikari Johnson, junior, was held scoreless in the opening period.

The second half saw the team hit its stride for a bit–at one point leading by 26 with 9:50 left in regulation. Early game frustrations seemed to dissolve, and the Panthers were returning to the team earlier in the season that was beating opponents by 20, 30, even 50 points.

But then Randolph made a couple runs, made eight free throws and drained three, three-pointers to get within 14 at the 5:31 mark and shorten the Panther lead to 70-56.

Ferrum continued to hold off the Wildcat surge, and a layup and jumper by Sterling Charles, sophomore, put the Panthers back up 18 with 4:15 left on the clock.

With a series of fouls and couple more threes, Randolph cut the score to 13 with 1:59 remaining in regulation.

Two Charles free throws and two Tart foul shots put the Panthers up 82-65 with :32 ticks left on the clock. Randolph mustered two more free throws to cut the Panther lead to 15, but time ran out and the Panthers claimed the win.

Post game, Head Coach Pat Corrigan was thankful to be back in the win column but acknowledged there are still improvements that need to be made.

“We got up about 25 and then we lost our composure a little bit,” Corrigan said. “We weren’t defending with the same intensity that we had been. We fouled a three-point shooter in transition. We didn’t get out on a three-point shooter in transition. A couple times we weren’t in a stance, and they drive right by us.”

He said that the team got up in points and then relaxed.

“That was a little bit disappointing,” Corigan said. “But that’s a maturity thing. We gotta continue to mature. The crowd was getting excited, and I think our guys fed into that a little too much.”

For the game, Johnson and Abel-River claimed high-scorer marks, each with 18 and leading both teams in points. Both finished with two assists as well.

“It was good to see Jikari get going,” Corrigan said. “He had been struggling. He gave us some confidence, and we pushed it beyond 10. “We were playing so hard, and we didn’t make some plays that we normally make, and we wanted it so bad. It was good to see him make a couple, and I think it relaxed everybody.”

Darwin Randolph, junior, and Abel-Rivera each had seven rebounds and recorded two assists as well.

Tart and Oden were the other Panthers in double digits with 10 points each, and Randolph led the team in steals with four.

The win brings the Panthers to 14-7 on the season, 5-7 in the ODAC. Next up for Corrigan’s team is Virginia Wesleyan tomorrow in Virginia Beach. Game time is set for 2 p.m.


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