ASHLAND, Va. - Bridgewater College placed three players in double figures Friday evening and pulled away in the second half to defeat Methodist University, 77-48, on the opening day of the Randolph-Macon Tip-Off Classic.
Senior center Kaitlyn Lehan posted her first double-double of the young season, scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to lead the Eagles to their first victory of the season and the first Bridgewater victory for head coach Sarah Mathews.
Bridgewater scored the game's first four points on layups by Lehan and Madison Baum and never trailed. The Eagles were on top 12-10 with 4:19 left in the first quarter before an 8-0 spurt pushed the Eagles' lead to double figures. A steady parade to the foul line helped pad the lead as the Eagles hit 6-of-8 attempts. Nina Novosel capped the run with a bucket to put the Eagles up 20-10 with 2:06 left in the opening quarter.
The lead was still 10 points, 24-14, when Moore converted a steal into a layup and then Moore dished to Baum for a layup, giving the Eagles a 26-14 lead after one quarter of play.
Two free throws by Rebecca Harvey pushed the margin to 14 points early in the second quarter, but a 6-0 spurt by the Monarchs closed the gap to eight, 28-20. Carey then knocked down two mid-range jumpers and Moore added a bucket to push the lead back to 14 points, 34-20.
Methodist responded with 3-pointers by Kodi Centry and Kaneya Chambers, once again trimming the margin to eight, 34-26. Buckets by Jessalyn Monday and Lehan put the Eagles on top 38-26 before Christian Sanders tallied for the Monarchs to slice the deficit back to 10 with 43 seconds left in the half. Lehan answered with a layup with 23 seconds left, sending the Eagles to the locker room with a 40-28 lead.
Moore opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer and Baum added two free throws as the Eagles stretched the lead to 17 points, 45-28, with 8:38 left in the third quarter.
Methodist put together 9-2 spurt to close the margin to 47-37 before a 3-pointer by Monday made the score 50-37. Bridgewater outscored the Monarchs 8-2 over the next four minutes and 30 seconds to open up a 19-point lead. After a free throw by Methodist's Centry, Novosel scored from in close and Carey added a jumper for a 54-38 lead. A layup by Lehan increased the lead to 18 points, 56-38, before Kayla Goldsmith hit 1-of-2 at the line for the Monarchs. Another layup by Lehan with 18 seconds on the clock gave the Eagles their biggest lead of the game to that point, 58-39. Kadie Snipes knocked down a 3-pointer for the Monarchs in the closing seconds as the third quarter ended with the Eagles holding a 58-42 advantage.
The lead was still 19 points, 63-44, with 6:25 left in the game when a bucket by Eagles' rookie Ahlia Moone pushed the margin past 20 points for the first itme, 65-44. Bridgewater outscored the Monarchs 12-4 the rest of the way for the final 77-48 margin of victory.
Bridgewater shot a respectable 45 percent from the floor, making 27-of-60 field goal attempts. The Eagles also won the rebounding battle by a 43-35 margin.
Two first-year players had productive outings for the Eagles. Baum scored six points and dished out five assists. Moone just missed her first career double-figure scoring game as she finished with nine points while also adding three steals.
Bridgewater, now 1-1 on the season returns to action Saturday afternoon in a battle of the Eagles as they play Juniata College. Juniata edged Randolph-Macon, 65-62, in Friday's other matchup. Tip-off for Saturday's game is set for 2:00 p.m.