Women’s basketball: Bridgewater avoids Hollins upset bid, 63-58

bridgewater eaglesBridgewater College avoided the upset Saturday afternoon as the Eagles outscored Hollins 8-2 over the final two minutes of play to take a 63-58 victory in ODAC women’s basketball action.

The Eagles came out with a solid effort in the first quarter to lead 20-16. The teams traded hoops early as the score was tied at 2-2, 5-5, 7-7 and 9-9.

Jessica Lam and Tyler Pinder then connected for consecutive hoops to give the Eagles a 13-9 lead with 4:38 left in the quarter. A 3-pointer by Hollins’ Nicolette Valencia pulled the hosts to within a point and the margin remained one when Bridgewater’s Allie Coburn and Hollins’ Sally Sroge exchanged buckets.

Lam’s 3-pointer pushed the margin back to four, 18-14, with 1:59 left on the clock. Lachrisha Hill scored for the hosts, but Kaitlyn Lehan answered with an inside hoop to put the Eagles up 20-16 at the end of the first quarter.

Hollins stunned the Eagles with a 17-0 run to start the second quarter. Valencia did much of the damage as she drained three shots from 3-point range. Sroge capped the surge with a short jumper, giving Hollins a 33-20 lead with 3:28 left in the half. During the Hollins’ run, the Eagles were 0-5 from the floor, 0-2 from the foul line and also turned the ball over five times.

A jumper by Lam ended the Eagles scoring drought that lasted almost eight minutes. After Hollins missed a pair of free throws, Lam connected on a 3-pointer to trim the margin back to single digits, 33-25, with 1:53 left in the half. After Jasmine Pinder hit a jumper to pull the Eagles to within six, Hollins pushed the lead back to nine on Porsha Waddey’s 3-pointer. Jasmine Pinder added another jumper with 24 seconds left on the clock to send the Eagles to the locker room trailing by a 36-29 margin.

The Eagles opened the second half with a 9-2 flurry to pull even on the scoreboard. Two buckets by Lam trimmed the deficit to three points before a layup by Hill gave Hollins a five-point cushion, 38-33. Lehan scored the next five points with her three-point play at the 4:35 mark tying the score at 38-38.

Bridgewater took its first lead of the second half, 41-40, on Lam’s jumper with 1:44 showing on the third-quarter clock, but Hollins scored five straight points, the final three on Hill’s three-point play with just one second left, to take a 45-41 advantage into the final quarter.

The Eagles pulled even at 47-47 with 7:50 left in the game on a short jumper by Lehan and the score was tied again at 49-49 after Sroge and Tyler Pinder exchanged hoops.

Hollins then pushed its lead back to four when buckets by Hill and Sroge made the score 53-49 with 4:55remaining. The Eagles then answered wtih a 6-0 spurt to regain the lead. Lehan drained a 3-pointer, the first of her career, and Lam made 3-of-4 foul shots to put Bridgewater on top 55-53 with 2:12 remaining.

Max Nagle then scored from long range to put Hollins back on top, but Tyler Pinder connected on a jumper to give the Eagles a 57-56 lead with 1:40 to go.

After Hollins missed at the offensive end, Lehan hit a short jumper, giving the Eagles a 59-56 advantage with 49 seconds left. Valencia missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer and Lehan controlled the rebound for the Eagles. Hollins fouled Sydni Carey and the Eagles point guard made both foul shots for a 61-56 lead with 27 seconds left.

Sroge hit a pair of foul shots to make it a one-possession game, but Tyler Pinder knocked down a pair of foul shots with 22 seconds left to ice the contest for the Eagles.

Lam followed up her record-setting 41-point performance earlier in the week with 25 points in Saturday’s win. Lam connected on 9-of-14 shots, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Lehan made 8-of-13 field goal attempts to finish with a career-high 18 points.

Hill paced Hollins with 19 points and was followed by Sroge with 16 and Valencia with 12.

Bridgewater controlled the boards by a 40-33 margin. Lehan and Coburn led the way with eight rebounds each.

After starting the season with four straight conference losses, the Eagles reached the .500 mark in ODAC play with Saturday’s win, evening their mark at 5-5. Bridgewater is now 12-7 overall.

Bridgewater is back in action Wednesday evening when the Eagles host Shenandoah University. The Eagles won the first meeting, defeating the Hornets 56-48 in Winchester. Tip-off for Wednesday’s game is set for 7:00 p.m.

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