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Women’s basketball: Bridgewater doomed in second half

bridgewater eaglesLynchburg College broke away from a halftime tie by outscoring Bridgewater 44-29 in the second half to take a 70-55 victory Saturday afternoon in ODAC women’s basketball action.

Turnovers plagued the Eagles in the first quarter as the Hornets jumped out to a 7-2 lead.

Briana Moore knocked down a 3-pointer to pull the Eagles to within two, but inside hoops by Caroline Naumann and Charmaine Hairston pushed Lynchburg’s lead to 11-5.

Kaitlyn Lehan scored on a layup for the Eagles before two free throws by Naumann made the score 13-7. Bridgewater’s Allie Coburn scored on a 12-footer with 26 seconds left in the first quarter to pull the Eagles to within four, 13-9.

Moore opened the second quarter with a pair of buckets to draw the Eagles even at 13-13, but Brittany Afolabi-Brown scored the next three points to put the Hornets back on top 16-13.

Jessalyn Monday drove the baseline for a layup and Lehan added an inside hoop to give the Eagles their first lead of the game, 17-16, with 5:24 left in the second quarter.

A layup by Molly Shephard put the Hornets back on top, but a 3-pointer by Moore gave the Eagles a 20-18 lead with 3:45 remaining in the half.

After a free throw by Shephard, the Eagles took their biggest lead of the half when back-to-back buckets by Jessica Lam made the score  24-19.

Lynchburg (10-3, 4-0 in the ODAC) reeled off five straight points to tie the score before two foul shots by Moore gave the Eagles a 26-24 edge with 21 seconds left in the half. Olivia DeFrancesco answered with a layup with 12 seconds left to knot the score at 26-26 at the break.

The Hornets scored the first six points of the second half to lead 32-26 and the visitors maintained the upper hand the rest of the way.

Bridgewater (7-6, 0-4 in the ODAC) pulled to within one, 36-35 on two foul shots by Moore, but Shephard scored from in close to put the lead at three. Moore scored on a driving layup to once again pull the Eagles to within a single point, but the Hornets answered again, this time with a 3-pointer by Carolyn Noe to make the score 41-37 with 2:57 remaining in the third quarter.

After an Eagles turnover, Noe hit again from beyond the arc, giving Lynchburg a 44-37 lead. Lam converted a three-point play to slice the margin to four, but Hairston knocked down a 3-ball to put the Hornets’ cushion at seven, 47-40. Lehan hit two free throws for the Eagles, but Lynchburg stayed hot from long range as Shephard drained a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to send Lynchburg to the fourth quarter with a 50-42 advantage.

Lynchburg opened the final quarter with a 7-0 spurt to open up a 15-point lead, 57-42. The Hornets maintained a double-digit margin until a 7-0 spurt pulled the Eagles to within six points. Rebecca Harvey hit a 3-pointer and Moore scored on a drive along the left baseline to trim the deficit to 61-53.

Lynchburg had three shots at the basket on its next possession, but came away empty-handed. Lehan then beat the Hornets’ defense down the floor and scored off an assist from Sydni Carey to pull the Eagles to with 61-55 with 2:41 remaining.

The Bridgewater comeback attempt ran out of steam as the Hornets closed the game with a 9-0 spurt to finish off the 70-55 victory.

Moore led the Eagles with a game-high 23 points while Lehan added 10 points and seven blocked shots. Lynchburg held Lam, the ODAC’s leading scorer coming into the game, to a season-low seven points.

Shephard came off the Hornets’ bench to lead her team with 14 points. Sarah Coronel scored 13 points, followed by Hairston with 12 and Alofabi-Brown with 10.

Lynchburg owned the boards by a 44-35 margin. Alofabi-Brown and Shephard led the Hornets on the glass with seven rebounds each. Lynchburg pulled down 21 offensive rebounds, leading to 19 second-chance points. Lehan and Carey pulled down six rebounds each for the Eagles.

Turnovers were a problem throughout the contest for the Eagles as 25 turnovers led to 24 Lynchburg points.

Bridgewater will look to get back into the win column Wednesday evening when the Eagles travel to Winchester, Va., to play Shenandoah University. Game time is 7:00 p.m.

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