VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Bridgewater College wiped out an eight-point deficit in the final eight minutes of the game to force overtime and the Eagles went on to defeat Virginia Wesleyan, 81-77, Wednesday evening in ODAC women's basketball action.
The victory pushed the Eagles above the .500 mark at 6-5 overall and 2-1 in the conference.
Virginia Wesleyan (3-9, 0-3 in the ODAC) led 59-51 when Niasia Caldwell scored on a layup with 8:47 left in the fourth quarter. The score stayed that way until Rebecca Harvey worked inside for a bucket to pull the Eagles within six with 7:38 remaining.
The Eagles sliced the deficit in half to trail by three with 6:03 remaining. Nina Novosel worked the paint for a layup to make it a four-point game and then Novosel made 1-of-2 foul shots to trim the margin to 59-56.
Naeemah Morris scored for the Marlins, but Harvey hit a 3-pointer to make it a two-point game 61-59. Caldwell made 1-of-2 foul shots before a driving layup by Madison Baum inched the Eagles to within a point, 62-61, with 4:58 left to play.
After Morris made 1-of-2 at the line Bridgewater's Briana Moore scored on a layup to tie the score at 63-63, with 3:47 on the clock. Virginia Wesleyan then used buckets by Morris and Jayla Harris to open up a four-point, 67-63, advantage with 2:55 to go.
Kaitlyn Lehan worked the lane to score for Eagles, but Tiera Johnson answered with a three-point play to put the Marlins up 70-65, with 2:04 left. Harvey then knocked down a big 3-pointer and, after getting a defensive stop, Moore scored on a layup to pull the Eagles even at 70-70 with 59 seconds to play.
Caldwell missed a jumper and Novosel controlled the rebound to give the Eagles possession with 44 seconds left. After a pair of non-shooting fouls on the Marlins, the Eagles were able to hold the ball for the last shot. Moore took a step-back three just before the buzzer, but her shot hit the front of the rim as the teams headed for overtime.
With the score tied at 72-72 in OT, Moore hit a 3-pointer to give the Eagles the lead for good, 75-72, with 2:59 remaining. After Jaelyn Washington made 1-of-2 foul shots for the Marlins, Lehan hit two from the line for a 77-73 Eagles lead with 48 seconds left.
Harris was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer and the Marlins' guard made 2-of-3 at the line to make it a two-point game, 77-75, with 37 seconds showing on the clock.
Eagles' guard Sydney Carey made 1-of-2 foul shots to push the lead to three before Washington missed an inside shot for the Marlins and Baum came away with the rebound for the Eagles. Baum was fouled and made 1-of-2 free throws to push the margin to 79-75.
Virginia Wesleyan was unable to connect on its next possession and Moore pulled down the rebound and was fouled with just five seconds remaining. Moore hit both foul shots and Caldwell scored at the buzzer for the Marlins for the final 81-77 score.
The Eagles found a way to win despite being plagued by foul problems. Harvey, Lehan, jessalyn Monday and Ahlia Moone all fouled out and Baum was saddled with four fouls.
Moore had a huge night, leading the Eagles with a season-high 27 points. The junior guard hit 8-of-12 shots, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range. She also made 7-of-8 free throws. Harvey added 16 points and Lehan posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards. Baum just missed a double-double as she finished with nine assists and eight points. Monday also had a solid performance with seven points and nine rebounds.
Harris paced the Marlins with 19 points and Caldwell scored 14.
The Eagles return to action Saturday when they host Lynchburg College. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m.