Sharp Shooting Eagles Take Down Randolph, 76-65
LYNCHBURG, Va. - Behind four players in double figures and a stellar effort from beyond the arc, the Bridgewater Eagles women's basketball team rolled to a 76-65 victory over Randolph College on Saturday afternoon.
Bridgewater (11-8, 8-4 ODAC) knocked in a season-high 10 three-pointers against the WildCats to key a balanced offensive attack.
In the early part of the contest, the two teams traded scores before Bridgewater took a 13-12 lead with 15:01 to play in the first half off a Cassidy Burkholder free throw.
Randolph responded with a Megan Russell jumper to take its first lead of the contest but the advantage was short-lived as a Jessica Mullen trey put the Eagles back out in front, 16-14.
Following the Mullen three-ball, the WildCats converted the front-end of a pair of free throws to trim the Bridgewater lead to one before a big run from the Eagles opened up a sizeable cushion.
Sophomore Shannan Thorne knocked in the front-end of two shots from the charity stripe to open a 10-0 Bridgewater run which put the Eagles up 26-15 with seven and change to play in the first half. Junior Molly Shelley accounted for half of Bridgewater's scoring during the stretch.
Randolph (3-17, 1-11 ODAC) ended the Bridgewater run with a Brianna Lowry jumper to bring the Eagles' advantage back to single digits before a three-pointer from Jessi Strom and a Burkholder free throw pushed the Bridgewater lead to a then game-high 13 points at a 30-17 tally with 4:42 to play in the opening stanza.
Over the next three-plus minutes, the WildCats went on an 11-0 run to trim the Bridgewater lead to just two points before a pair of Shelley free throws ended the Randolph spurt to put the Eagles back up four points in the waning seconds.
Randolph responded with a jumper but the Eagles scored the final three points of the half on a Holly Morgan free throw and a Mullen jumper to take a 35-30 lead into the locker room.
Out of the intermission, the Eagles pushed their lead to eight off of a Burkholder three-point play. Senior Katelynn Hottinger knocked in a free throw to build a 39-30 lead for the Eagles with 18:44 to play.
With 15:46 left, Chelsea Tyler hit the front-end of a pair of free throws to cut the Bridgewater lead to six, but a Mullen jumper extended the Eagles' advantage to eight at a 44-36 margin.
Following the Mullen jumper, the WildCats used an 8-0 run to knot the game up at 44 each with 13:26 remaining. Allie Druffel capped off the Randolph run with a jumper to tie the game for the fifth time.
Back-to-back treys from Morgan and Strom ended the Randolph run and put the Eagles back ahead by six points at a 50-44 margin, but the WildCats answered with a trey of their own to bring the contest back to within a score, 50-47, with 11:42 to go.
Bridgewater used another large run, kicked off by a Morgan trey, to push its lead back to double figures in the latter portion of the second half. The Eagles used a 21-8 run to build their largest lead of the contest at 16 points, 71-55, with four minutes to play.
Over the final four minutes of action, the WildCats outscored Bridgewater 10-5, but it wasn't enough as the Eagles secured the season sweep of Randolph with a 76-65 victory.
Mullen paced the Eagles with 18 points on the afternoon. Morgan chipped in 16 points, while Burkholder and Strom each added 11 in the win.
On the glass, the Eagles were again impressive, out-rebounding the WildCats by a 52-43 margin. Thorne pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds to lead the way for the Eagles.
Abigail Bullins led the way for the WildCats with a game-high 20 points. Russell just missed the double-double as she added 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds.
Bridgewater is back in action on Monday night at Mary Washington. Tip-off against the Eagles is set for 7 p.m.