BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Bridgewater College wiped out most of a 22-points second-half deficit Wednesday night, but the rally came up just short as Southern Virginia held on for a 65-60 non-conference victory.
The Eagles trailed by 10 points at the break after shooting just 30 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes of action.
The Knights dominated play early in the second half, outcoring the Eagles 18-6 in the first seven minutes to open up a 52-30 cushion.
Bridgewater then utilized a trapping defense along with some spirited offensive work from seniors Rick Maloney (Virginia Beach, Va./Floyd Kellam) and Kyle Hammond (Bluefield, W.Va./Bluefield) to mount a furious comeback.
The Eagles outscored Southern Virginia 17-0 over a six-minute stretch to cut the lead to five, 53-48, with 5:26 left in the game. Maloney and Hammond scored six points apiece to spark the Bridgewater comeback.
The Eagles continued to whittle away at the deficit and pulled to within two, 55-53 with 2:42 left in the game, on a layup by Maloney
Spenser Briggs knocked down a long 3-point to make it a five-point game, but Hammond answered with a 3-pointer at the 1:19 mark, making the score 58-56, in favor of the Knights.
Isaac Jacobson hit a big three with 52 seconds left to push the lead back to five, but Hammond scored from the lane to pull the Eagles within three, 61-58, with 25 seconds left on the clock.
Ronnie Thomas (Roanoke, Va./Patrick Henry) then came away with a huge steal for the Eagles and dished to Maloney for a layup to cut the margin to one, 61-60, with 14 ticks remaining.
The Eagles fouled Ky Raymond and the Knights' guard hit the first foul shot for a two-point lead. Raymond missed the second free throw, but the Eagles were unable to control the rebound and the ball went out of bounds with possession awarded to the Knights.
Jacobson was able to hit just one of two from the line with 10 seconds left, giving the Knights a three-point lead and leaving the Eagles with a chance to tie in the closing seconds.
Thomas had a good look at a three for the Eagles, but his shot came up just short and Briggs hit two free throws with one second left for the final 65-60 margin.
Maloney led the Eagles with a game-high 17 points and Hammond added 14. Briggs paced three Knights in double digits with 16 points.
Bridgewater's pressure defense forced 27 Southern Virginia turnovers, but the Knights overcame their ballhandling woes by hammering the Eagles on the glass by a 43-31 margin.
Bridgewater, now 1-3 on the season, travels to Newport News on Friday to play Christopher Newport in the first round of the CNU Classic. Game time if 5:30 p.m.