BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Eastern Mennonite used an early 11-0 run to open up a double digit lead and the Royals went on the defeat Bridgewater College 75-58 Wednesday evening in Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) women's basketball action at Nininger Hall.
The conference leading Royals improved to 20-3 overall and 14-1 in the ODAC while the Eagles dropped to 12-11, 7-8 in conference play.
A free throw by Sa'Mone Moore and an inside bucketby Shakeerah Sykes gave the Royals a 5-4 lead and a 3-pointer by Rheinheimer pushed the margin to 8-4. Cantrell added two layups for the Eagles, tying the score at 8-8 with 17:17 left in the first half.
The Eagles then went scoreless for the next seven minutes and the Royals took advantage with 11 straight points to lead 19-8.
A jumper by Cantrell snapped the Eagles drought and a 3-pointer by Jessica Lam pulled the Eagles to with 19-13 with 9:03 on the first-half clock.
Rheinheimer and Marla zumFelde stroked back-to-back 3-pointers to push the lead back into double figures, 25-13, before a 3-pointer by Bridgewater's Jessi Strom made the score 25-16.
Sykes scored from down low and Moore connected from 3-point-rangee for a 30-16 Royals lead. Strom knocked down another 3-pointer, but the Royals then reeled off 12 straight points to forge ahead 42-19. Lam hit two late free throws for the Eagles, making the halftime score 42-21.
The Eagles made a dent in the Royals lead when a jumper by Cantrell cut the deficit to 48-34 with 12:31 left to play, but Bridgewater would get no closer as the Royals finished off the 75-58 victory.
Cantrell had a solid game for the Eagles as she hit 9-of-14 field goal attempts to finish with 18 points. Strom hit 4-of-9 3-point shots to reach double digits with 12 points.
Rheinheimer led the Royals with 21 points and Sykes scored 17. Sykes completed a double-double as her 10 rebounds led EMU to a 43-37 advantage on the boards.
The Eagles made more field goals than the Royals as the shooting from the floor was nearly identical. Bridgewater made 24-of-60 shots while the Royals made 23-of-59. EMU held a huge advantage at the foul line where the Royals made 22-of-31 shots. The Eagles made 4-of-5 free throws.
Bridgewater closes out its regular season Saturday when the Eagles travel to Ashland, Va., to play Randolph-Macon College.