WINCHESTER, Va. – Sophomore guard Cassidy Burkholder knocked down a 3-pointer at the buzzer Wednesday night to lift Bridgewater College to a 58-56 victory over the Shenandoah University Hornets in Old Dominion Athletic Conference women's basketball action.
Burkholder's shot capped a furious Eagles rally as they wiped out a 12-point deficit in the final 11 minutes.
The Eagles got off to a terrible start, falling behind by 15 points, 26-11, with 8:45 left in the first half.
Bridgewater then used a 9-0 spurt to work its way back into contention. A layup by Molly Shelley and two free throws by Holly Morgan cut the lead to 11 points and a jumper by Morgan trimmed the margin to nine. Oshene Kelly worked inside and converted a three-point play, making the score 26-20 with 4:41 left in the half.
Shenandoah's Crystal Petrus knocked down a 3-pointer to push the lead back to nine before two buckets by Burkholder pulled the Eagles to within five, 29-24, with 2:55 on the first half clock.
A layup by Imani Heggins and a jumper by Erin French put the Hornets back up by nine before two free throws by Burkholder sent the Eagles to the locker room on the short end of a 33-26 score.
The Hornets got off to a quick start early in the second half and led by 13 points, 41-28, on a layup by Heggins with 16:12 left in the game.
The Eagles weathered the early Hornets' flurry, but Shenandoah was able to maintain a comfortable margin over the next eight minutes.
After the Eagles cut the lead to eight, 43-35, on a short jumper by Rebecca Reifsnider, Heggins scored from in close and French hit a jumper to the Hornets up by 12 points, 47-35. With 10:41 left in the game.
Bridgewater then held the Hornets scoreless for almost six minutes to cut the lead to three.
Kelly made 1-of-2 foul shots and Burkholder scored on a layup to trim the deficit to single digits, 47-38. A jumper by Kelly Hughes and a layup by Morgan cut the margin to five before a short jumper by Kelly sliced the deficit to three, 47-44, with 4:47 remaining.
Heggins scored three points to put the Hornets up by six, but a layup by Burkholder and a bucket by Kelly made it a two-point game, 50-48 with 2:58 on the clock.
After a Shenandoah turnover, Morgan converted a rare four-point play as she was fouled while shooting and making a 3-pointer, giving Bridgewater its first lead of the game, 52-50, with 1:46 left.
A jumper by Shenandoah's Holly Chittenden tied the score and the Hornets regained the lead, 53-52, when Heggins made 1-of-2 foul shots.
Another 3-pointer by Morgan gave the Eagles a two-point lead, 55-53, with 23 seconds left, but the Eagles fouled Chittenden with 11 seconds on the clock. Chittenden hit the first foul shot to pull the Hornets to within one. She missed the second foul shot, but the Hornets retained possession when the ball was last touched by the Eagles before going out of bounds.
Petrus was fouled with five seconds left and calmly sank both foul shots to give the Hornets the lead, but Burkholder hit the 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Eagles to the thrilling 58-56 victory.
Heather Cantrell paced four Eagles in double figures with 15 points. The Bridgewater freshman posted her third double-double of the season as she also led the team with 10 rebounds. Burkholder scored 14 points, followed by Morgan with 13 and Kelly with 10. Burkholder filled up the stat sheet as she also recorded seven rebounds, six steals and three assists.
Petrus paced the Hornets (5-9, 2-3 in the ODAC) with 16 points and Heggins added 15.
The victory was the third straight for the Eagles who are now 5-8 overall and 3-2 in the ODAC.
Bridgewater returns to the court Saturday afternoon when the Eagles host Roanoke College. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.