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No. 25 Yellow Jackets Hold Off Eagles

Rebecca Harvey drives for the Eagles.

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - No. 25 Randolph-Macon turned back several Bridgewater runs in the second half Tuesday night to defeat the Eagles, 94-87, in the ODAC opener for both teams.

The Yellow Jackets scored first on a layup by Charlotte Woods and never trailed. The score was tied three times early in the first quarter, the third time on a baseline jumper by Bridgewater's Claire Mocarski that knotted the score at 10-10 with 6:08 left in the quarter.

The Yellow Jackets then reeled off nine straight points and the Eagles were forced to play from behind the rest of the night. A jumper by Madison Baum at the 3:05 mark of the first quarter pulled the Eagles to within seven, 19-12, but Bridgewater went scoreless for the rest of the quarter and Randolph-Macon moved ahead 24-12 after one quarter of action.

The Yellow Jackets' lead hovered near the double-digit mark for most of the second quarter. Macon took its biggest lead of the quarter, 39-25 on a layup by Michal Ross with 2:08 on the clock. Sydni Carey hit a free throw and Lindsay Estes hit from 3-point range to trim the margin to 39-29. Ross hit a 15-footer to push the margin to 12 before Briana Moore made 1-of-2 at the line, making the score 41-30. Ross knocked down another mid-range jumper just before the buzzer to send the Yellow Jackets to the break with a 43-30 lead.

Jayla Wade opened the second half with a jumper to push the margin to 15 points, but the Eagles then scored 11 straight points to pull within four. Allie Coburn hit a 3-pointer and Moore drove inside for a bucket to cut the deficit to 10, 45-35. Rebecca Harvey converted a three-point play and Coburn scored again from beyond the arc to trim Macon's lead to 45-41 with 7:53 left in the third quater.

The Yellow Jackets responded with an 11-2 spurt to push the margin back to double figures. Kelly Williams and Charlotte Woods combined for nine points during the run to put the visitors on top 56-43 with 4:09 left in the third quarter.

Randolph-Macon's Kelsey Wisner hit two foul shots with 16 seconds left, making the score 68-54, but Estes scored from in close just before the buzzer to cut the margin to 12 points with one quarter remaining. 

The Eagles opened the final quarter with nine unanswered points to make it a one-possession game. Estes made 3-of-4 foul shots and Madison Baum drove the lane for a bucket to slice the deficit to seven, 68-61. Estes scored on a layup and Moore added two free throws to pull the Eagles to within three, 68-65, with 8:15 left in the game.

Randolph-Macon answered with seven straight points and the margin was quickly back to double digits, 75-65. Lauren Lewis capped the flurry with a long 3-pointer to put the Yellow Jackets back on top by 10 points.

Bridgewater refused to go away and an 11-4 run trimmed the margin back to three. Moore and Wisner traded buckets before a steal and layup by Bridgewater's Erika Nettles cut the margin to 77-69. Harvey scored the next five points as she hit a 3-pointer and two foul shots to pull the Eagles to within 77-74 with 4:58 left to play.

After Williams hit two foul shots for the Yellow Jackets, Baum countered with two foul shots to keep the margin at three, 79-76. Williams then stepped outside and hit a 3-pointer and Wisner converted a layup to push the margin back to eight, 84-76, with 2:53 left.

A three-point play by Baum trimmed the margin to five before Williams and Coburn traded hoops to keep Macon's lead at five, 86-81, with 1:41 remaining.

After Ross missed two foul shots, Baum drove the lane for a layup to once again cut the margin to three points, 86-83, with 1:13 left. Elisa Knobloch made two clutch foul shots and a Bridgewater turnover led to two free throws by Wisner as Macon increased its lead to 90-83 with 34 seconds left. Baum drove in for another layup to pull the Eagles to within five but the Yellow Jackets hit 4-for-6 foul shots in the final 27 seconds to hold off the Eagles, 94-87.

Bridgewater (3-1, 0-1 in the ODAC) placed five players in double figures. Freshman forward Lindsay Estes paced the Eagles with 17 points while Moore and Harvey each scored 16 points. Coburn added a career-high 15 points while Baum finished with 13 points and eight assists.

Randolph-Macon (3-1, 1-0 in the ODAC) was paced by Williams, the team's All-American center, with 29 points and 11 rebounds. Wisner added 21 points, followed by Ross with 16 and Lewis with 11.

Bridgewater battled the taller Yellow Jackets to a near standoff on the boards as Macon held a slim 41-39 advantage. Harvey and Coburn grabbed six rebounds each to lead the Eagles. 

The Eagles return to conference action Sunday afternoon when they host Hollins. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.