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College notebook: Fitzgerald shines in WildCats’ first loss
BY STEVE DeSHAZO
Randolph College’s men’s basketball team suffered its first loss of the season Saturday—but might have gained a future contributor in the process.
A bright spot in the WildCats’ cq 72–66 loss to visiting Virginia Wesleyan was the play of former Courtland standout James Fitzgerald, who scored nine points in eight minutes in his first significant action of the season.
Slowed by a knee injury, Fitzgerald missed a month of practice and had played just six total minutes and scored two points in Randolph’s first 13 games (all victories). The 6-foot-4 sophomore has been improving, though, and provided a spark for the WildCats in a battle for the Old Dominion Athletic Conference lead.
The injury “kept him on the shelf for a while,” Randolph coach Clay Nunley said, “and he’s behind, because he’s learning how we play, so he wasn’t getting many [practice] reps.
“But he’s starting to come into his own, and in that particular game, we felt he could help us with some matchups.”
Fitzgerald attended George Mason University last year but did not play basketball before transferring to Division III Randolph, located in Lynchburg.
He made all four of his field goal attempts against Virginia Wesleyan and figures to see increased playing time for a young team that features seven freshmen in its rotation. The WildCats (13–1, 5–1 ODAC), who were ranked No. 24 last week by D3hoops.com, visit Guilford Wednesday night.
“He’s a smart player, and he gives us good energy,” Nunley said of Fitzgerald. “He should give us a presence near the basket, on the boards, defensively or finishing around the rim.”
Junior Taylar Wells (Mountain View) scored a game-high 13 points in Winston-Salem State’s 46–42 win over Virginia State Thursday. The Lady Rams (9–6, 4–1 CIAA) have won four straight and rank second in Division II in scoring defense (47.6 points per game).
Junior Tristan Carey (Colonial Beach) had 16 points, a game-high nine rebounds and three steals in Longwood’s 75–62 loss to Charleston Southern Saturday.
Freshman Kendra Stone (Colonial Forge) scored 11 points to help No. 23 Christopher Newport (13–0) beat Averett 75–43 Saturday. Senior Caroline Young (Washington & Lee) had 11 points and eight rebounds for Averett.
Freshman center Te’Quan Alers (James Monroe) started two of Virginia Union’s three games last week and had five points and seven rebounds in Saturday’s 75–72 win at Fayetteville State.
Sophomore Brittany Glasco (Massaponax) had team highs of 15 points and six assists in Virginia Wesleyan’s 74–67 win over Roanoke Saturday.
Senior Caroline Simmons (Colonial Forge) won the women’s 50-yard freestyle (23.18) and finished third in the 100 free (51.34) in 10th-ranked Tennessee’s 186–108 dual-meet win at Virginia Tech Saturday.
Freshman Justin Barden (Orange) won the men’s 100 free (48.48) in William & Mary’s 205–51 dual-meet win over visiting Howard Saturday.
Sophomore Corey Kreiter (Orange) won the men’s 50 free (22.52) and 100 free (51.14) and anchored the winning 200 medley relay team (1:45.98) in Randolph-Macon’s 112.5–52.5 dual-meet win over Marymount Saturday.
Towson freshman Michael Slattery (Mountain View) was second in the men’s 100 free (47.54) and fifth in the 50 free (21.98) against Boston College and George Mason Saturday in Fairfax.
Limestone (S.C.) redshirt freshman Justin Tribble (North Stafford) went 2–1 at 197 pounds at Saturday’s invitation-only National Wrestling Coaches Association/Cliff Keen National Duals in Springfield, Ill.
Tribble beat Grand Canyon’s Eric Fan 4–1, then scored a first-period pin fall over Minot State’s Devon Flores before falling to Upper Iowa’s top-ranked Carl Broghammer 12–0. Tribble is 14–6 on the year.
A 3–2 win by senior Oscar Huntley (Colonial Forge) over Lehigh’s John Bolich was a bright spot in Navy’s 19–15 dual-match loss Saturday.
TRACK AND FIELD
Freshman Jeremy Granderson (Colonial Forge) won the men’s long jump (22–3) and was third in the high jump (6–2) to help Navy win a five-team meet Saturday.
VCU senior Alex Hinton (Chancellor) was second in the men’s 800 (1:55.59), and junior Justine Dutton (Caroline) was second in the women’s pole vault was a personal-best 11–3.
Alabama freshman Kimberley Ficenec (Mountain View) placed fourth in the women’s mile (4:57.15) at Saturday’s Crimson Tide Indoor Opener in Birmingham.
Steve DeShazo: 540/374-5443