Bridgewater College broke the 80-point mark for the second straight home game as the Eagles picked up a key, 82-67, Old Dominion Athletic Conference victory Tuesday evening over Shenandoah University at Nininger Hall. In their previous home contest, the Eagles scored 81 points in a victory over Virginia Wesleyan.
The Eagles opened the contest with a strong four-minute stretch, scoring on their first five offensive trips down the court.
Holly Morgan scored on a layup and Heather Cantrell worked the post area for a bucket, making the score 4-0. After an offensive board, Cassidy Burkholder scored to make it 6-0 and another strong post move by Cantrell pushed the margin to 8-0. Burkholder then added a pair of free throws for a 10-0 Bridgewater lead.
Shenandoah got on the board with a steal and layup by Imani Heggins, but Morgan answered with a layup off an assist from Molly Shelley. A layup by Olivia Callan cut Bridgewater's lead to single digits, 16-7, before a 5-0 spurt gave the Eagles their biggest lead of the first half. Burkholder hit two foul shots and Jessica Lam followed with 1-of-2 at the line, making the score 19-7. A steal and layup by Morgan gave the Eagles a 14-point, 21-7 advantage.
The Hornets erased most of the 14-point deficit with a 12-0 run. Heggins scored three buckets and Elisa Owens capped the run with a 3-pointer, pulling the Hornets to within two, 21-19.
Bridgewater regained control by outscoring the Hornets 16-9 over the final seven minutes of the first half.
After the Hornets pulled to within one, 23-22, on another 3-pointer by Owens, the Eagles scored 10 unanswered points. Burkholder and Cantrell made two free throws each and Burkholder converted a steal into a layup for a 29-22 lead. Morgan added a pull-up 12-footer on the break and a baseline jumper from 15 feet to put the Eagles on top 33-22 with 2:04 left in the half.
Shenandoah's Holly Chittenden and Bridgewater's Oshene Kelly exchanged hoops before four more points from Chittenden cut the Eagles lead to 35-28. Lam grabbed an offensive rebound and scored just before the buzzer to send Bridgewater to the locker room with a 37-28 lead.
The Eagles shot 50 percent from the floor in the opening half, making 13-of-26 shots. Shenandoah shot just 26.2 percent, but the Hornets controlled the offensive glass, pulling down 14 boards at the offensive end. As a result, the Hornets attempted 16 more shots than the Eagles in the first half.
Bridgewater quickly built its lead to double digits with a 7-0 run early in the second half. Heggins opened the second-half scoring with a layup, but Burkholder hit two free throws and Jessi Strom knocked down a 3-pointer, making the score 42-30. Shelly then scored after an offensive rebound for a 44-30 Eagles lead.
The Hornets cut the lead to nine, 50-41 before a 6-0 Eagles spurt pushed the lead to 15 points. Strom hit a 15-footer, Rebecca Reifsnider scored on a stickback and Burkholder added a layup, making the score 56-41.
Shenandoah sliced the deficit to 11 points, but the Eagles reeled off an 8-0 run to lead by 19 points. A layup by Burkholder was followed by two Cantrell buckets, making the score 62-45. Shelley tacked on a 15-footer and the Eagles led 64-45 with 9:14 remaining.
Bridgewater led by as many as 20 points before settling for the final 82-67 margin of victory.
Cantrell and Burkholder each recorded a double-double to lead the Eagles. Cantrell finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds while Burkholder added 19 points and 10 boards. Shelly scored 14 points for the Eagles and Morgan added 12. Strom just missed joining her teammates in double figures as she finished with nine points.
The Eagles did a better job on the glass in the second half and finished the game with a 49-44 rebounding margin.
Heggins led the Hornets with 23 points and Chittenden added 19 points and pulled down 19 rebounds.
Bridgewater had one of its best shooting nights of the season as the Eagles made 26-of-54 shots for 48.1 percent from the field. The team was also stellar from the foul line, making 28 shots in 33 attempts for 84.8 percent.
Shenandoah made just 24 of its 82 shots attempts for a cold 29.3 percent.
The win proved big in the conference standings as both teams now have 5-6 conference records. Bridgewater owns the tiebreaker over the Hornets after sweeping the season series. The Eagles are 7-12 overall while the Hornets dropped to 8-12 overall.
Bridgewater returns to action Saturday afternoon when it hosts Lynchburg for a 2 p.m. tip-off. The contest is Bridgewater annual cancer awareness game. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to show support for breast cancer awareness.