BRIDGEWATER - Bridgewater College outscored Emory & Henry 26-15 in the final quarter Wednesday night to rally for a 74-68 victory over the Wasps in ODAC women's basketball action.
"Tonight we were able to get some stops down the stretch on the defensive end and that was a big key for us," said Eagles' head coach Sarah Mathews who picked up the victory in her first game in Nininger Hall. "Nina (Novosel) gave us a presence on the defensive end tonight. Her length caused some problems and she got her hands on a lot of passes."
Mathews was also happy to see the Eagles have a strong shooting night from the floor. "We finally made some shots. We were unselfish and that was part of the game plan. We wanted to get the ball inside and we also wanted to drive and kick the ball out to open shooters." The Eagles shot 47.9 percent from the floor, making 23-of-48 shots. The team was hot from long range as four different players hit 3-pointers. The Eagles finished 11-of-20 from beyond the arc for 55 percent accuracy.
Bridgewater (2-4, 1-1 in the ODAC) got off to a strong start and led by seven after the first quarter. After the Wasps scored the game's first five points, the Eagles answered with a 10-0 run. Kaitlyn Lehan put the Eagles on the board with a short jumper and point guard Madison Baum drove the lane and converted a three-point play to tie the score at 5-5. Lehan added two foul shots and Briana Moore knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner to put the Eagles on top 10-5.
Two foul shots by Kara Stafford and a layup by Myesha Logan pulled the visitors to within a point before two free throws by Allie Coburn and another 3-pointer by Moore pushed the Eagles' lead to 15-9. A jumper by Chloe Harris and a layup by Taylor Blevins moved the Wasps to within 15-13, but Lehan scored after pulling down an offensive rebound to make the score 17-13. Blevins and Bridgewater's Sydni Carey traded hoops before another 3-pointer by Moore with nine seconds left gave the Eagles a 22-15 lead after one quarter.
A 3-pointer by Jessalyn Monday put the Eagles up 25-17 early in the second quarter and a 3-pointer by Ahlia Moone gave Bridgewater it's biggest lead of the game, 28-19, with 6:08 left in the second quarter.
The Eagles then went cold from the floor and the Wasps whittled the lead down to three, 29-26, on a layup by Jada Penn with 3:10 left in the half. Rebecca Harvey knocked down a 3-ball on Bridgewater's next possession to put the Eagles ahead 32-26,, but Emory & Henry closed the half with a 7-0 spurt to lead by one, 33-32, at the break.
An 8-2 run to open the second half gave the visitors a 41-34 lead with 4:39 left in the third quarter. Moore then hit a 3-pointer for the Eagles, but Penn scored inside to put the Wasps up 43-37. The Eagles closed to with one, 43-42, on a layup by Monday and a 3-pointer by Ahlia Moone before two free throws by Peyton Williams pushed the E&H lead to three.
A 3-pointer by Monday made it a two-point game, 50-48, but Wasp's guard Kylea Cooper converted a three-point play with 14 seconds left to send the Wasps to the final quarter with a 53-48 lead.
Bridgewater's first-year guard tandem of Baum and Moone sparked an 11-0 run to start the fourth quarter as the Eagles took the lead. Baum drove the lane for a layup and Moone hit from beyond the arc to tie the score at 53-53. Two layups by Lehan and two foul shots by Moone pushed the Eagles in front 59-53 with 8:09 left in the game.
The Eagles were still up by six, 64-58, with 5:59 to play, but the Wasps pulled even with a 6-0 spurt. Williams hit a jumper and Logan added a point from the foul line to close the gap to 64-61. Sydney McKinney then powered inside and converted a three-point play to tie the score at 64-64 with 4:44 remaining.
Bridgewater regained the lead on a 12-footer by Nina Novosel, but Logan responded with a jumper to knot the score at 66-66. Two foul shots by Lehan put the Eagles on top and a layup by Moore gave Bridgewater a 70-66 advantage with 2:15 to go. The Wasps had several opportunities to close the gap, but a turnover and four missed shots allowed the Eagles to maintain the four-point lead.
Lehan made 1-of-2 foul shots for a five-point Eagles' lead but Logan drove the lane and scored on a layup for the Wasps, making it a one-possession game, 71-68, with 18 seconds left on the clock. Emory & Henry fouled Moore and the Eagles' junior made two free throws for a 73-68 lead. The Wasps turned the ball over on their next possession and Moore added 1-of-2 on her next visit to the line for the final margin of victory.
Moore hit 4-of-8 shots from 3-point range and led the Eagles with a season-high 18 points. Lehan scored 15 points and Moone finished with 14. Monday and Harvey contributed eight points each while Baum added five points and seven assists.
Blevins was the lone Emory & Henry player in double digits with 11 points.
The Eagles held their own on the boards as the Wasps finished with a slim 33-30 edge. Moore led the Eagles with seven rebounds and McKinney pulled down seven for the Wasps.
Both squads struggled with turnovers as the Eagles committed 29 turnovers and Wasps turned it over 24 times.
Bridgewater returns to action Saturday afternoon when the Eagles travel to Newport News to play the Apprentice School.