BRIDGEWATER, Va. – After allowing five Guilford three pointers in the first half and taking a 35-35 tie into the locker room, the Bridgewater Eagles (21-3, 16-3 ODAC) women's basketball team ratcheted up the defense in the final 20 minutes to run away with a 76-54 victory over the visiting Quakers.
Guilford (14-10, 10-9 ODAC) struck first and led by as many as four in the game's early going before an Emileigh Lambert (Charlottesville, Va./Western Albemarle) layup with 11:19 to play in the first stanza put the Eagles ahead for the first time at a 15-14 margin.
Following the Lambert layup, the Quakers used an 11-to-2 run over the game's next three minutes to build an eight point advantage with 8:18 to play in the first frame.
Bridgewater worked the nearly double digit Guilford lead down over the final eight and change of the first half before a Jessica Mullen (Purcellville, Va./Loudon Valley) trey with eight ticks left on the clock knotted the game at 35 as the two teams headed to the locker room.
In a back and forth first half, the game was tied on five separate occasions, while the lead changed hands 10 times.
Out of the halftime break, a Gabby Oglesby jumper with 15:51 to play gave the Quakers a 41-37 lead, but it was soon to be the final time Guilford would own the game.
Bridgewater responded with an 8-0 run over the next 2:07 to take a four point lead of its own at a 45-41 margin with just under 14 minutes left.
But, Guilford wouldn't go away. The Quakers brought the Bridgewater lead to a slim 48-47 margin with 10:49 to play, before the lights came on for the Eagles offense and Bridgewater's cornerstone defense went into shutdown mode.
Over the final nearly 11 minutes of play, Bridgewater forced seven turnovers on the defensive end, while the offense went 12-of-17 from the field, including 10 straight makes to open a 28-7 game-ending run which gave the Eagles their ninth straight victory by a 76-54 tally.
Three players netted double figures for the Eagles, with senior Jordan Burkholder's (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby)21-point effort leading the way. Burkholder tallied 16 of her game-high 21 points in the second half. Freshman Holly Morgan (Staunton, Va./Buffalo Gap) was tremendous for the Eagles off of the bench, tallying 11 points, while Jenny Logan (Luray, Va./Luray) knocked in 10.
On the glass, Bridgewater out-rebounded Guilford by a 42-to-32 margin, led by Lambert's six boards.
Guilford was led offensively by a quartet of players on double figures. Jazlyn Gibbs tallied a team-high 16 points, but netted just three points in the second half. Gabby Oglesby was impressive in the paint, notching a 10-point, 10-rebound double double.
The Eagles outshot the Quakers by a 46%-to-33% margin, but the 50% to 24% gap in the game's final 20 minutes proved to be a major factor in the game swinging to Bridgewater's favor.
Bridgewater turned 21 Guilford miscues into a 26-to-8 advantage in points off of turnovers, and dominated the inside game, outpacing the Quakers by a 38-to-14 gap in the paint.
The Eagles also owned a glaring 25-0 advantage in bench points, as the Eagles reserves provided a much needed spark off of the bench.
Bridgewater wraps up the regular season tomorrow, Saturday, February 19, in a busy day of action in Nininger Hall. Saturday's game marks Bridgewater's WBCA PinkZone contest and also will be the final regular season game for five Eagles seniors as the athletic department honors them on Senior Day. Action against Emory & Henry is slated for a 3:00 p.m. start.