Eagles all alone in first place after Saturday's win at Ferrum
Ferrum held a 55-53 lead over Bridgewater entering the fourth quarter Saturday, but the Eagles outscored the Panthers 26-10 in the final 10 minutes to pull away for a 79-65 victory in ODAC action.
The victory was the 10th in a row for the Eagles matching the 10-game winning streak of the 2010-11 squad. Bridgewater is now 13-8 overall and 12-2 in the ODAC and all alone at the top of the conference standings. While the Eagles were taking care of business on the road, Washington & Lee and Emory & Henry both lost on the road. W&L fell at Randolph-Macon, 71-56 while Shenandoah defeated E&H, 63-56. W&L is now 12-3 in the ODAC while E&H drops to 11-3.
Bridgewater closed the first quarter Saturday with an 11-5 run to take a 22-15 lead. The Eagles led 11-10 before two foul shots by Erika Nettles and two more by Mary Ruth Shifflett pushed the lead to 15-10. The Panthers closed to within two, 15-13, before the Eagles ran off seven straight points. Diamond Huskey worked inside for two and Nina Novosel added a free throw to make it 18-13. Huskey scored again down low and Nettles converted a steal into two points, making the score 22-13. Ferrum's Jessy Nichols made two foul shots in the closing seconds as the opening quarter ended with the Eagles leading 22-15.
Bridgewater's lead remained steady for most of the second quarter, but the Panthers closed to within four, 34-30, with 2:57 remaining. Nettles and Ahlia Moone both scored for Eagles and Kayla Darr added 1-of-2 at the foul line to increase the cushion back to nine points, 39-30, matching the Eagles biggest lead of the first half. Jacy Marvin knocked down a 3-pointer late in the half to trim Bridgewater's lead to 39-33 at the break.
Ferrum scored the first seven points of the third quarter to take the lead but two foul shots by Nettles and a layups by Madison Baum and Huskey moved the Eagles back out front, 45-40. The Eagles held the upper hand until a three-point play by Cameron Hawkins put the Panters ahead 48-47 with 3:53 on the clock.
A 3-pointer by Darr put the Eagles up 50-49, but Ferrum scored six straight points to lead 55-50. Baum made 3-of-4 foul shots to pull the Eagles back to within two points, 55-53, entering the final quarter.
Moone drained a 3-pointer on the first possession of the fourth quarter to start a 14-2 Bridgewater run that resulted in a 10-point lead. After the Moone 3-ball, Nettles and Ferrum's Aisha Martin traded hoops to keep it a one-point game. Shifflett then knocked down a 3-pointer and Baum followed with a three-point play, giving the Eagles a 64-57 advantage. Darr then connected from beyond the arc and the Eagles led by 10 with 7:16 left to play.
The Panthers could get no closer than seven points the rest of the way as the Eagles finished off the 79-65 victory.
Nettles continued her strong play, setting a new career-high in points for the second straight game. The junior forward scored 18 points and also grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds in just 16 minutes of action. Moone also posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Darr added 16 points and Huskey scored a career-high 12. Shifflett also reached double figures with 10 points.
The Eagles forced 27 Ferrum turnovers while outrebounding the Panthers 56-42. The Eagles pulled down 27 offensive boards and took 23 more shots than the host team.
Bridgewater is back in action Wednesday evening when the Eagles host Shenandoah in a key ODAC matchup.