BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The upcoming week offers the Bridgewater men's basketball team an opportunity to build on its three-game winning streak and start the ODAC season on a positive note as the Eagles open conference play with a pair of home games against Randolph College and Emory & Henry College.
Bridgewater will need to find a way to slow down one of the top players in the ODAC when Randolph College (3-0) comes to Nininger Hall on Wednesday. Colton Hunt, a first-team All-ODAC pick a year ago, is averaging 25 points per game during the first three games this season for the WildCats. Hunt, a senior guard who averaged 17.6 points a year ago, is shooting better than 60 percent from the field, including 63.6 percent from beyond the three-point line.
Randolph coach Clay Nunley has little experience to go along with Hunt. Junior guard Mike Ehilegbu and senior big man Chris Battaglia join Hunt in the starting lineup. After those three, it's all first-year talent for the WildCats, as two starters and the first three players off the bench are freshmen.
Ehilegbu is another quality guard in Nunley's perimeter-oriented attack. He is averaging 15 points per game this season after scoring 11.2 points per game a year ago.
Battaglia, a 6-9 center, has emerged as a viable inside option, averaging 10.0 points per game.
Freshmen guards Evan Horn and DJ Langley complete the starting five for Randolph. Horn averages 9.3 points per game while Langley is scoring six points per game.
The WildCats are averaging 72 points per game and the five starters are combining to score 66 points per game.
In the lone meeting last season, Randolph outscored the Eagles, 93-78.
Emory & Henry, much like the Eagles, is a team looking to find a way to move up in the ODAC standings. The Wasps are 0-3 to start the season, losing close games to Covenant and Ferrum before getting blitzed by Hampden-Sydney 98-64, in their ODAC opener.
A year ago, the Wasps won both meetings against the Eagles, winning 57-48 at Nininger Hall and 72-54 at Emory & Henry.
Unlike Randolph, the Wasps return an experienced roster with seven of their top eight players in either the junior or senior class.
The one freshman to crack the rotation, guard Myles Turner, is averaging 12.6 points per game. Senior guard Malcolm Green is scoring at a 13.0 clip while big man Armando Murrell is averaging 9.3 points and 5.0 boards per outing.
After a season-opening loss to Ferrum, the Eagles have reeled off three straight victories.
The Eagles have relied on a balanced scoring attack led by sophomores Aaron Adams and Ed Reddick. Adams is averaging 11.0 points per game while Reddick is averaging 10.5 points and a team-high 4.8 rebounds per contest. Junior guard Ronnie Thomas is scoring 9.5 points per game and leads the team in assists with 5.0 per contest.