Icy Bridgewater drops ODAC contest to Roanoke

bridgewater eaglesRoanoke College never trailed Wednesday night, defeating the Bridgewater College Eagles 63-41 in ODAC men’s basketball action at the Cregger Center.

The Maroons scored the game’s first five points, but the Eagles responded and tied the score at 12-12 with 11:48left in the first half.

A free throw by Efe Balfour and a layup by Zach Kopp pulled the Eagles to within 5-3 before buckets by John Caldwell and CJ Miles pushed the Maroons’ advantage to 9-5.

Bridgewater senior Keonte Dennis scored from in close before a foul shot by Roanoke’s Eli Sumpter made the score 10-7.

Balfour and John Fitchett traded baskets to keep Roanoke’s lead at three points, 12-9. Bridgewater sophomore Kevin Saylor was fouled on a 3-point shot attempt and he knocked down all three free throws to tie the score at 12-12.

Roanoke then regained the upper hand with an 8-0 spurt to lead 20-12 with 8:26 left in the half.

Bridgewater trimmed the margin to six, 23-17, on a layup by Balfour, but the Maroons scored the next seven points to lead by 13. Josh Freund knocked down a jumper and Caldwell hit two foul shots to push the lead to double digits. Caldwell then added a 3-pointer to put the Maroons up 30-17 with 3:37 left in the half.

A 3-pointer by Bryce Boggs and a layup by Balfour trimmed the deficit to eight, but Caldwell scored with 43 seconds left in the half, giving Roanoke a 32-22 edge at the break.

Roanoke’s Fitchett and Balfour exchanged buckets to open the second half before a 3-pointer by Sumpter and a layup by Fitchett increased the Maroons’ lead to 15 points, 39-24.

Kenneth Turner connected from 3-point range to pull the Eagles back to within 12 points, but buckets by Caleb Jordan and Freund put Roanoke ahead 43-27. A 3-pointer by Essex Thompson and a free throw by Davrion Grier sliced the margin back to 12 points, but Jordan tacked on two foul shots, making the score 45-31.

Saylor then knocked down a 3-pointer to move the Eagles to within 11, but Roanoke scored the next six points to open up a 17-point lead, 51-34, with 9:47 remaining in the game.

Bridgewater then went ice cold from the field, making just three field goals in the final 9:18 of the game as the Maroons finished off the 63-41 victory.

Balfour was the lone Bridgewater player in double figures with 11 points. Caldwell was the only Maroons’ player in double digits as he scored a game-high 21 points.

Boggs scored five points Wednesday evening to go past 1,000 points for his collegiate career. The junior transferred to Bridgewater this season after playing his first two years at Salve Regina University.

Bridgewater, now 5-15 overall and 2-9 in the ODAC, returns to action Saturday afternoon with a road trip to Hampden-Sydney College.

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