Women Fall In Tournament Final

action photo of RC basketball player Whitney Hopson
Whitney Hopson had 15 for the Maroons

The Basics
Score: Roanoke 63 | N.C. Wesleyan 78
Records: Maroons 1-1 | Battling Bishops 2-1
Location: Salem, Va.

The Lead: Roanoke played host to NC Wesleyan in the Championship Game of the 2019 Jean Beamer Tip-Off Classic. The Maroons were down at the half but came back to take the lead in the fourth quarter. However, the Battling Bishops made a late surge to pull away down the stretch, 78-63.

How it Happened:

  • RC took the opening tip and senior Molly Hassell got the game started with a three pointer and after another score, the Maroons were out to a quick, 5-0, start.
  • At the 5:54 mark, Kayrisma Harrison hit a jumper to give NCW their first lead of the afternoon. The two teams would trade the lead back and forth for the remainder of the opening period as the score would be tied, 15-15, after the first 10 minute frame.
  • The Bishops would score five straight before Renee Alquiza nailed a jumper to make it a one possession game. However, Wesleyan would grab the momentum with a 10-2 run, opening up a double digit advantage. After a Roanoke timeout, the Maroons began to mount a comeback over the final four minutes of the first half.
  • Sayre Brandstatter and Rose Sande would make back-to-back threes to stop the Battling Bishop's run and when Whitney Hopson stole the ball and hit a layup, the deficit was just five, 39-34, at the half.
  • It took RC just three minutes to tie the game after another Hassell three ball and when Hopson connected from long range, the Maroons had their first lead since the first quarter.
  • However, NC Wesleyan would answer with a three of their own and the game was knotted at 44-44 with 5:00 on the clock. The teams would take turns with surges. Frist NCW went on a 10-2 run before the Maroons answered with a run of their own, 9-2, to make it a one point game heading into the final period.
  • Alquiza hit a shot to give Roanoke the lead, but it was answered right away by the visitors. Hopson appeared to grab control with a layup and a subsequent Hassell steal, but RC missed a breakaway and the momentum quickly swung in favor of the team in gold.
  • With 7:45 left to play, the Bishops would hold Roanoke scoreless for the next five plus minutes while building a double figure advantage. By the time RC scored again, they were down by 12 with just two minutes to play.
  • An "old fashion" three point play by Sande stopped the run, but time had run out and the Maroons fell in the tournament final.
  • Hopson had a team high 15 points to go with five rebounds, two assists, and five steals. Sande added 10 points and four boards while Hassell and Kristina Harrel each scored eight as Harrel added a team high six rebounds.
  • For their efforts over the two-day event, Harrel and Hopson were named to the 2019 Jean Beamer Tip-Off Classic All-Tournament Team.

Up next: Roanoke will begin Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) play on Wednesday night when they host Randolph College at 7:00pm.