Bridgewater College's basketball season came to an end at the Salem Civic Center as the hot-shooting Virginia Wesleyan Marlins defeated the Eagles 91-70 in the ODAC quarterfinals Friday evening.
Khory Moore, the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year, and DJ Woodmore, the conference's Player of the Year, combined for 45 points Friday to lead the Marlins, the tournament's No. 2 seed, to the tournament semifinals.
The Marlins jumped out to an early lead as Moore set the tone for the contest by hitting his first three 3-pointers to stake the No. 2 seeded team to a quick 14-6 lead.
Bridgewater, making its first appearance at the Salem Civic Center since the 2009-10 season, withstood the early 3-point barrage and responded with an 8-2 spurt to pull within four. After a free throw by Ed Reddick, Aaron Adams scored on a layup for the Eagles, making the score 14-9. Colby Heard hit two free throws for the Marlins before Ronnie Thomas converted a three-point play to pull the Eagles to within four, 16-12.
Virginia Wesleyan then built its lead to double figures when Moore's layup following an Eagles turnover made the score 22-12.
The Eagles clawed back with an 8-3 spurt to cut the deficit in half.
Tavis Stapleton and Woodmore traded 3-pointers before a layup by Daniel McClain and a Reddick foul shot sliced the Marlins lead to seven. The teams traded empty possessions before a jumper by Stapleton made it a five-point game, 25-20, with 9:27 left in the half.
The Marlins then hit the Eagles with a 15-3 run to take a 40-23 lead with 5:47 on the clock. Woodmore knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and two free throws to spark the Wesleyan spurt.
Bridgewater once again answered, this time with a 7-0 flurry to get the margin back to 10 points. Thomas started the spurt with a 3-pointer and McClain and Reddick added layups, making the score 40-30 with 4:21 remaining.
The next and final run of the half belonged to Virginia Wesleyan as the Marlins outscored the Eagles 12-4 during the final four minutes.
A tip-in by Colby Heard and two free throws by Moore pushed the Marlins lead to 14 points. Adams countered with two foul shots, but Moore converted a rare four-point play, giving Wesleyan a 46-32 lead with 2:05 remaining in the half.
David Larson scored for the Eagles, but a tip-in by Aaron Clark and two free throws by Heard sent the Marlins to the break with a 52-34 lead.
Bridgewater was unable to make a serious run at the Marlins in the second half as Virginia Wesleyan continued to shoots lights out at the Salem Civic Center.
The Marlins finished the contest shooting 45.3 percent from the floor, making 29-of-64 shots. Virginia Wesleyan was red-hot from beyond the arc, making 14 of 28 shots. Moore, who finished with 25 points, and Woodmore, who scored 20, combined to make 10-of-16 shots from 3-point range.
The Eagles placed four players in double figures, led by Stapleton with 16 points. Reddick scored 14, followed by Thomas with 13 points and McClain with 11.
The Eagles finished the 2013-14 season with a 14-12 record. Friday's contest marked the end of the line for seven Bridgewater seniors – Thomas, Stapleton, McClain, Larson, Romie Powell, Kyle VanOrden and Kenneth Waugh.
Thomas finished his playing career with 325 assists. The total is the best for a Bridgewater player since the 1988 season and puts Thomas sixth on the all-time assists list. He also scored 886 points and grabbed 392 rebounds during his four-year career.