HARRISONBURG, Va. – A five-minute scoring drought to start the game Friday evening proved to be too much for Bridgewater College to overcome as the Eagles lost to Ferrum College, 85-72, on the opening night of the Eastern Mennonite University Tip-Off Classic.
Ferrum opened the contest with a 14-0 run and the Eagles never recovered. The Panthers hit 6-of-8 shots top open the contest while the Eagles missed their first six shots of the game. Bridgewater's first points came on two Ed Reddick free throws with 14:58 left in the first half.
Ferrum opened its biggest lead of the half when a layup by Brian Clarke made the score 21-4 with 13:39 left in the half.
The Eagles then began to chip away at the deficit and cut the margin under 10 when a layup by Ronnie Thomas pulled the Eagles to within 33-24 with 6:57 left in the half.
After a Ferrum turnover, Aaron Adams was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made 2-of-3 foul shots to cut the margin to seven, 33-26.
The teams traded points for the remainder of the half and a Tavis Stapleton foul shot in the final minute cut Ferrum's lead to 47-38 at the break.
Despite shooting just better than 70 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, the Panthers were unable to put the Eagles away.
Bridgewater fans were probably thinking there was no way the Panthers could keep up that shooting pace in the second half, but they did just that. In fact, Ferrum shot better in the second half, making 71.4 percent of its attempts.
The Eagles managed to stay in touch with the Panthers for the first 10 minutes of the second half and a free throw by Bryan Lynch cut the Ferrum lead to 11, 65-54, with 10:31 left in the game.
The, a 9-3 run by the Panthers made the score 74-57 with 7:00 left, matching Ferrum's largest lead of the game.to that point.
Bridgewater was unable to make a run at the Panthers down the stretch and fell by the final 13-point margin.
Ferrum shot 70.8 percent from the game and missed a total of just 14 shots the entire contest. Jamal Pullen did most of the damage as he hit 12-of-14 shots and finished with 26 points.
Adams turned in a strong offensive game for the Eagles and scored 24 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor and an 11-of-13 effort from the foul line. Thomas was the only other BC player in double figures as he scored 12 points.
Ferrum owned a 34-27 edge on the boards. Adams also led the Eagles on the glass with six rebounds.
The Eagles return to action Saturday afternoon when they meet Elizabethtown at 2:00 p.m. in their second game of the EMU Classic. Elizabethtown lost to Eastern Mennonite, 81-65, in Friday evening's other contest.