Bridgewater (12-11, 8-7 in the ODAC) trailed by two points at half, but limited the Marlins to just 22 points in the final two periods to pull away for the victory.
The Eagles opened up an eight-point lead, late in the first quarter when a 3-pointer by Briana Moore made the score 19-11 with 2:04 on the clock.
Virginia Wesleyan (8-15, 6-9 in the ODAC) scored the final four points of the period to close to within four and the Marlins carried the momentum into the second period.
The Marlins opened the second period with a 14-2 run to open up an eight-point lead, 29-21, midway through the period.
The lead was still eight points after Kayla Harris knocked down a 3-pointer, putting the Marlins out front 36-28 with 2:31 left in the half.
This time, the Eagles closed with a flurry, scoring six straight points to trail by just two at the break. The Eagles took advantage of the offensive glass as each bucket came after grabbing an offensive rebound. JessalynMonday, Jessica Lam and Sydni Carey converted the boards into buckets, trimming the margin to 36-34 at the half.
The second half belonged to the Eagles.
Virginia Wesleyan stretched its lead to five early in the third period before the Eagles pulled even with a 5-0 spurt. Jessi Strom‘s 3-pointer pulled the Eagles to within two and a layup by Cassidy Burkholder tied the score at 41-41.
The teams traded points until Bridgewater’s Kaitlyn Lehan made 1-of-2 at the foul line for a 46-45 Bridgewater lead with 3:37 on the clock.
Lam took a nifty pass across the lane from Lehan to push the lead to three and Moore converted a three-point play for a 51-45 lead. Monday capped the 8-0 spurt when she took a pass from Sydni Carey and swished a 12-foot baseline jumper, giving the Eagles a 53-45 edge with 1:20 left in the third period.
Jaelyn Washington pulled the Marlins to within five when she worked inside and converted a three-point play, trimming the Eagles lead to 53-48 heading into the final 10 minutes.
A layup by Harris to open the final period cut the deficit to three before a 7-0 run by the Eagles pushed the margin to double figures. Burkholder scored off a dish from Carey and Moore added two foul shots for a 57-50 lead. Monday then stepped out and hit from 3-point range to make it 60-50 with 7:06 remaining.
Naeemah Morris scored for the Marlins, but Monday answered to keep the Eagles’ lead at 10. Kelly Jones drove the lane to once again pull the visitors to within eight, but this time the Eagles put together an 8-0 spurt to put the game away.
Burkholder knocked down a 12-footer and Monday worked inside for a bucket giving the Eagles a 66-54 lead. Carey found Monday for another inside hoop and Moore hit from 10 feet out, making the score 70-54 with 3:10left to play.
The Eagles received big contributions off the bench as Monday scored a career-high 17 points while pulling down seven rebounds and Moore chipped in with 11 points. Lam scored 14 points and Burkholder just missed a double-double with 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Oshene Kelly did yeoman’s work in the paint finishing with seven points and eight boards while Carey turned in a strong floor game from the point guard spot with eight points, seven assists and just two turnovers.
Harris was the lone Virginia Wesleyan player in double figures as she finished with 20 points – 15 of those coming in the first half.
The Eagles close out the regular season Saturday afternoon when they host Roanoke College on Senior Day. The game marks the final home regular season game for seniors Burkholder, Strom, Kelly and Gabrielle Spinner. Game time is set for 2:00 p.m.