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Yellow Jackets hold off Bridgewater, 64-56

bridgewater eaglesRandolph-Macon took an eight-point halftime lead and the Yellow Jackets held off the Bridgewater College Eagles in the second half to post a 64-58 victory Wednesday evening in ODAC men’s basketball action.

Randolph-Macon opened the game with a 7-0 run, but the Eagles answered to tie the score. Bryce Boggs drove for a layup and Efe Balfour added two free throws to trim the Jackets lead to 7-4. Kevin Saylor followed with a 3-pointer to knot the score at 7-7 with 12:42 left in the half.

The hosts hit the Eagles with a 14-4 spurt to take a double digit lead, 21-11, at the 6:52 mark. Greg Midulla sparked the Jackets with five points during the run.

The Eagles hung tough and another Saylor 3-pointer trimmed the deficit downt to five, 24-19. Michael Taylor then countered with a 3-ball to put the Jackets up 27-19. The Jackets led by 10 points on a bucket by Taylor with 20 seconds left in the half, but Balfour scored on a layup with just four seconds left to send the Eagles to the locker room trailing by just eight points, 31-23.

Bridgewater continued to go toe-to-toe with Macon early in the second half and eventually pulled even with 13:13left in the game.

The Jackets led by five, 39-34, before a 3-pointer by Saylor pulled the Eagles to within two. Two foul shots by Jermaine Johnson and a layup by Darryl Williams put the Jackets on top by six before the Eagles tied the score with a 6-0 spurt. Balfour sandwiched two inside buckets around two foul shots by Saylor to draw the Eagles even at 43-43.

The Eagles then went stone-cold at the offensive end as the Jackets regained control of the contest with 16 straight points to lead 59-43. Bridgewater went eight minutes without a point, finally breaking the drought on a three-point play by Phil Baumgartner to cut the margin to 13 points, 59-46.

The Eagles pulled to within seven points, 63-56, on two foul shots by Keonte Dennis with 1:16 left. Bridgewater got a stop at the defensive end and had an opportunity to pull within four, but Baumgartner missed on a 3-point attempt with 1:01 left.

Balfour led the Eagles with 14 points and Saylor added 12.  Taylor paced the Yellow Jackets with 27 points.

Bridgewater battled the hosts to a near standoff on the boards, losing the rebounding battle by just one, 38-37. Dennis pulled down eight rebounds for the Eagles.

The Eagles close out the regular season on Saturday when they host Guilford College. Tip-off is set for 4:30 p.m.

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