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Late Rally Sends Averett Past Eagles, 57-54

Late Rally Sends Averett Past Eagles, 57-54

BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Averett University outscored Bridgewater College 8-3 over the final four minutes of the game Friday evening to take a 57-54 victory on the opening night of the 29th Annual BC/Don Glick Classic.

Romello Crowell hit a 3-pointer to give Bridgewater an early 5-4 lead and the Eagles held the advantage until the final four minutes.

After Crowell's 3-pointer, Bridgewater's Cameron Thurston and Averett's Carter Jones traded layups before a three-point play by Efe Balfour gave the Eagles a 10-6 lead. Jesse Case then made 1-of-2 from the line, giving the Eagles an 11-6 lead with 11:57 left in the first half.

Bridgewater (2-6) stretched the lead to seven, 15-8, on a driving layup by Kevin Saylor, but Trevor West answered for the Cougars, making the score 15-10.

The teams traded hoops before a 3-pointer by Case put the Eagles on top, 20-12, with 6:14 remaining in the half.

After a free throw, by Averett's Jones, Logan Seacrist scored after an offensive rebound for a 22-13 Eagles lead.

A 3-pointer by Seacrist with 1:06 left on the clock pushed the Eagles lead to double figures, 25-15. Jones powered inside and scored for the Cougars, but another 3-ball by Seacrist sent the Eagles to the locker room with a 28-17 lead.

Averett's James Contreras Jr. made 1-of-2 at the free throw line to open the second half, but Case answered with a baseline jumper, giving Bridgewater a 30-18 lead.

Jones scored the next four points for the Cougars and then Contreras added a layup to trim the deficit to six, 30-24, with 17:55 left to play.

Saylor drove the baseline for two and Caldwell added a short jumper in traffic to once again push the margin to double figures, 34-24. The teams traded points until consecutive buckets by Seacrist gave the Eagles a 40-28 edge with 13:30 left.

Averett's West and Bradley Robinson each connected from 3-point range to make it a six-point game, 40-34, at the 12:38 mark, but Caldwell responded with a 3-pointer and a layup, giving the Eagles a 45-34 lead.

Averett (6-1) then used a 7-0 spurt to slice the Eagles' lead to four, 45-41. A 3-pointer by Devontae Pannell and two baskets from Contreras accounted for Averett's points.

Seacrist snapped the BC scoring drought with a jumper, making the score 47-41 and the teams then traded points with the Eagles still on top by six, 51-45, when Saylor scored from inside with 5:29 left.

Charles Bryant converted from in close and two foul shots by Contreras pulled the Cougars to within two, 51-49, with 4:04 remaining.

Following an empty possession by the Eagles, Contreras took a pass from West and knocked down a long 3-pointer, giving Averett its first lead since early in the game. The teams then traded empty trips to the offensive end before Averett's Robinson made the first of two foul shots for a 53-51 Cougars lead with 2:23 left.

A layup by West with 1:11 left on the clock pushed the Averett advantage to four, 55-51, but Caldwell dialed up a long 3-pointer to pull Bridgewater to within one with 55 seconds left.

Bridgewater then had a chance to regain the lead when Balfour controlled the rebound after a Contreras miss.

This time, Caldwell was off the mark from long range and the ball went out of bounds with possession going to the Cougars. The Eagles were forced to foul and Pannell hit both free throws, giving Averett a 3-point lead with six seconds left.

Bridgewater's last chance to tie came up short when Thurston's contested 3-pointer was off the mark as Averett escaped with the 57-54 victory.

Seacrist and Caldwell came off the bench to lead the Eagles in scoring with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Contreras led all scorers with 18 points and West added 11 for the Cougars.

Averett controlled the boards by a 50-36 margin with Bryant leading the way with 11 rebounds. Saylor paced Bridgewater on the glass with eight rebounds.

Both teams struggled from the field with Bridgewater hitting 35 percent (21-of-60) of its shots while the Cougars managed just 32.3 percent on 20-of-62 shooting. Each team turned the ball over 11 times.

In Friday's first game, Eastern Mennonite turned back Virginia University of Lynchburg, 74-59. Jerome Jones scored 17 points and Christian Hansen added a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds to lead EMU. Devante Davis paced VUL with 22 points.

Saturday's session tips off at 3:00 p.m. with Eastern Mennonite playing Averett followed by the Bridgewater vs. Virginia University of Lynchburg contest.