Bridgewater tops Shenandoah on buzzer-beater

bridgewater eaglesBridgewater’s Kevin Saylor knocked down a 3-pointer at the buzzer Wednesday night to lift the Eagles to a 58-55 ODAC victory over Shenandoah University.

The Eagles opened the contest with a 12-0 run, but the Hornets battled back to tie the score at 22-22 with 3:22left in the first half. From that point forward, the biggest lead by either team was five points.

Saylor opened the scoring with a layup and a 3-pointer by Keonte Davis made it 5-0. Jesse Case scored on a mid-range jumper and Saylor tallied from beyond the arc, making the score 10-0. Saylor added another layup for a 12-0 Eagles lead with 16:39 left in the first half.

Shenandoah responded with a 14-4 run to pull with two points, 16-14, with 8:19 left in the half. The Hornets pulled even for the first time at 22-22 on a free throw by Antwan Pittman.

The Hornets took their first lead of the game with 12 seconds left in the half when Aaron Patterson stroked a long 3-pointer, making the score 27-24. Logan Seacrist hit a pair of free throws for the Eagles, trimming the halftime deficit to one, 27-26.

Bridgewater used a 7-0 spurt just past the midway point of the second half to take its biggest lead of the half at five points.

A layup by Efe Balfour tied the score at 45-45 before a 3-pointer by Case put the Eagles on top 48-45. After a Shenandoah turnover, Case tacked on a pair of free throws, putting the Eagles ahead 50-45 with 7:33 remaining in the game.

The Eagles failed to score during the next three and a half minutes and the Hornets tied the score at 50-50 on five straight points by Christopher Chaney.

Seacrist hit two foul shots to put the Eagles back on top 52-50 with 3:56 left. After the teams exchanged points at the foul line, Malcolm Clark drove inside for a layup as Shenandoah knotted the score at 53-53 with 2:43 left.

Shenandoah regained the upper hand on a jumper by Pittman with 1:08 remaining, but Sylor answered with a layup on the Eagles’ next possession to tie the score at 55-55 with 47 seconds on the clock.

Clark missed a driving layup with 28 seconds left and the rebound went out of bounds with possession going to the Eagles.

The Eagles worked the clock down to 15 seconds before calling a timeout to set up for the last shot. Bridgewater, however, was forced to call another timeout with just one second remaining and out of the timeout, Saylor slipped off a screen and knocked down his third 3-pointer of the game for a dramatic 58-55 victory.

Case led the Eagles with a game-high 22 points and Saylor added a career-high 18. Clark led the Hornets with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

The Eagles held their own on the boards, losing the rebounding battle by a 42-37 margin. Dennis led the Eagles with nine rebounds.

Bridgewater made just 17­-of-52 shots for 32.7 percent. The Hornets were a tick better, making 20-of-55 shots for 36.4 percent.

The victory snapped the Eagles’ four-game losing streak. Bridgewater is now 4-12 overall and 3-5 in ODAC play. The Eagles return to action Saturday afternoon when they host Hampden-Sydney College, Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m.


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