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Strong First Half Sparks Eagles Past Shenandoah

Strong First Half Sparks Eagles Past Shenandoah

BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Bridgewater College used a strong first-half performance and a dominant effort on the boards to take 61-49 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) women's basketball victory Wednesday evening over Shenandoah University.

Bridgewater (10-9, 5-6 in the ODAC) controlled play early and jumped out to a 21-8 lead. A 3-pointer by Jessica Lam gave the Eagles a quick 5-2 edge and they led the rest of the way.

Buckets by Jessalyn Monday and Cassidy Burkholder pushed the Eagles' lead to 9-2 before Holly Chittenden scored inside for the Hornets. Monday and Shenandoah's Breya Wallace traded baskets and then the Eagles went on a 10-2 run to open up a 13-point lead.

Lam scored on a layup and Monday hit a 12-footer, making the score 15-6. After two free throws by Shenandoah's Erin French, the Eagles scored the next six points. Kaitlyn Lehan hit 1-of-2 foul shots and Jessi Strom knocked down a 3-pointer for a 19-8 lead. Monday powered inside for another bucket, giving Bridgewater a 21-8 lead with 7:57 left in the half.

The Eagles maintained a double-digit lead until Shenandoah's Wallace struck from beyond the arc with 22 seconds left in the half to cut the Eagles lead to 28-19 at the break.

Shenandoah (7-13, 3-8 in the ODAC) whittled away at the Eagles lead early in the second half. A layup by Brie Girouard pulled the Hornets to within four, 32-28, with 15:11 left to play.

Twice, the Hornets cut the lead to one, but the Eagles were able to maintain the upper hand. A layup by Wallace made it a one-point game, 40-39, with 8:42 left, but layups by Lehan and Heather Cantrell pushed the margin back to five.

The Hornets were still within five points, 48-43, with 5:23 left to play and that's the way the score remained until Burkholder hit two foul shots with 2:52 left to give the Eagles a 50-43 lead. After a Hornets turnover, Lam scored on a backdoor cut for a 52-43 Bridgewater advantage.

Kirstyn Arcata scored from inside for the Hornets, but Strom delivered the dagger on the next possession when she drained a 3-pointer from the left corner to give the Eagles a 55-45 advantage with just 1:37 left in the game.

Burkholder led the Eagles with 14 points and Monday came off the bench to score 13 points, all in the first half. Lam also reached double figures with 11 points.

The Eagles dominated the boards by a 45-26 margin. Cantrell and Lehan led the way with 10 rebounds each. Lehan just missed a double-double as she scored nine points. The BC freshman center finished off her stat line with five blocked shots.

Chittenden and Wallace each scored 14 points for the Hornets. Chittenden's output pushed the senior's career total to 1,000 points.

The Eagles return to action Saturday afternoon when they travel to Roanoke College. Game time is 1:00 p.m.