Late Spurt Lifts Hornets Past Eagles

Late Spurt Lifts Hornets Past Eagles

BRIDGEWATER - Lynchburg College closed the game with an 8-2 run in the final two minutes Saturday afternoon to defeat Bridgewater 78-70 in ODAC women's basketball action at Nininger Hall.

With the victory, the Hornets improved to 11-2 overall and 3-1 in the ODAC while the Eagles dropped to .500 at 6-6 overall and 2-2 in the conference.

Both teams came out hot to open the game as the Eagles hit 8-of-11 shots from the floor and the Hornets countered with a 6-of-10 mark. Briana Moore hti all three of her field goal attempts in the first quarter to score eight points, leading the Eagles to a 20-18 lead after one quarter of play.

Bridgewater opened up an eight-point lead in the second quarter before the Hornets rallied back. Leading 23-20, the Eagles ran off five straight points to take their biggest lead. Rebecca Harvey worked inside for a bucket and Ahlia Moone converted a three-point play to put the Eagles on top 28-20.

Olivia DeFrancesco cut the lead in half with a four-point play and Brittany Afolabi-Brown scored inside to pull the Hornets to within a bucket, 28-26. Madison Baum scored on a driving layup for the Eagles, but DeFrancesco hit another long 3-pointer to make it a one-point game. The Hornets took the lead on a buclet by Molly Shephard, but Kaitlyn Lehan answered with an inside hoop to put the Eagles back on top by one, 32-31. A layup by Alex Allen put Lynchburg back in front by a point and a free throw by Caroline Naumann gave the visitors a 34-32 lead.

Baum hit 1-of-2 foul shots before another 3-ball by DeFrancesco pushed the Lynchburg advantage to 37-33. The Eagles closed to within two on another bucket from Lehan, but the Hornets closed the half with baskets from DeFrancesco and Naumann to lead 41-35 at the half.

The Hornets hit the Eagles with a 6-0 run to open the third quarter, increasing the lead to 47-35. Lynchburg took its biggest lead when Allen scored from in close for a 53-39 advantage midway through the third quarter.

The lead was still 12 points when Jules Misenheimer hit a 3-pointer with 3:00 minutes left, making the score 56-44. Bridgewater then outscored the Hornets 8-0 during the remainder of the quarter to trail by just four entering the final quarter. Lehan tallied a pair of buckets from in close and Moone scored after grabbing an offensive rebound to pull the Eagles to within six, 56-50. Sydni Carey adding a driving layup with just four seconds left, trimming the Lynchburg lead to 56-52.

Bridgewater pulled even with 7:00 left to play when Carey scored to tie the game at 60-60. Maggie Quarles responded with a 3-pointer on the next possesion for a 63-60 Hornets lead. The lead went to five as Shephard and Naumann sandwiched buckets around a jumper from Carey for a 67-62 Hornets lead. Harvey made two free throws, but DeFrancesco scored on a layup to keep the margin at five 69-64.

A layup by Moone cut the deficit to three and, after Afolabi-Brown made 1-of-2 foul shots, Lehan scored from in close to pull the Eagles to within two, 70-68, with 2:24 left in the game. Afolabi-Brown scored on a backdoor cut before two foul shots by Moone kept the margin at two, 72-70, with 1:35 to play.

Shephard worked free for a layup to put the margin back at four and, following an Eagles turnover, Kortini Pinion knocked down a 10-footer along the left baseline to give Lynchburg a 76-70 cushion with just 38 seconds left. Afolabi added two foul shots for the Hornets final margin of victory.

Lehan and Moone scored 15 points each to lead the Eagles. Harvey tallied 14 points and Moore added 13. Carey scored eight points for Bridgewater and Baum added eight assists.

Shephard poured in 24 points to lead four Hornets in double figures. DeFrancesco registered a double-double with 19 points and 10 assists.  Afolabi-Brown was next with 12 points and Naumann added 11.

Lynchburg held a 33-27 advantage on the boards with Naumann grabbing 11 rebounds to complete her double-double. Harvey led the Eagles with six rebounds.

Both teams shot well with the Hornets making 29-of-54 shots (53.7 percent) while the Eagles hit 26-of-55 for 47.3 percent. Lynchburg hit 6-of-13 3-point shots and 16-of-20 at the foul ine. The Eagles made 6-of-11 from 3-point range and 12-of-14 from the foul line.

The Eagles return to action Tuesday evening when they host Washington and Lee. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m.