BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Bridgewater College scored the first seven points of the game Saturday afternoon and the Eagles never trailed in a 71-62 victory over the Emory & Henry College Wasps.
With the victory the Eagles evened their conference record at 1-1 and improved their record to 4-2 overall. E&H dropped to 0-5 overall, 0-2 in the ODAC.
Tavis Stapleton knocked down a 15-footer on the game's first possession and the junior guard added a 3-pointer on his next trip to the offensive end, giving Bridgewater a quick 5-0 lead.
Ronnie Thomas hit a jumper to make it 7-0 before the Wasps finally got on the board on a 3-pointer by Myles Turner to cut the lead to 7-3.
The Eagles pushed the margin to 10 points, 16-6, when Ed Reddick worked the paint and converted a three-point play with 14:02 left in the half.
Matthew Hunter drove past his defender for a layup to up the lead to 12 before a layup by the Wasps' Charles Smith made the score 18-8. Bryan Lynch then drained a long 3-pointer, giving the Eagles s 13-point lead, 21-8, with 11:50 left on the clock.
Emory & Henry closed the margin to four before an 11-1 run gave the Eagles their biggest lead of the half.
After Emory & Henry's Jorel Terrell hit a jumper to pull the Wasps to within 24-20 the Eagles regained control. Daniel McClain hit a short jumper before the Eagles hit 2-of-4 from the line to lead 28-20.
Charles Smith made 1-of-2 from the line for the Wasps before Thomas scored on a driving layup, giving the Eagles a 30-21 lead. Thomas added a 3-pointer and Reddick drove the lane for a layup, giving the Eagles their largest lead of the half, 35-21, with 1:38 left on the first-half clock.
The Wasps scored the final four points of the half, capped by Smith's short jumper just before the horn, to shave the Bridgewater lead to 35-25 at the break.
The Eagles dominated play to start the second half, outscoring the Wasps 16-4 to open up a 22–point lead.
The teams traded two hoops each to start the second half and then the Eagles reeled off 12 unanswered points. Stapleton started the run with a jumper and Reddick added a pair of inside buckets to put the Eagles on top 45-29. Thomas sandwiched a pair of hoops around another jumper by Stapleton to put the Eagles on top 51-29 with 13:30 left.
The Eagles still led by 22 points, 59-37, when Reddick scored on a layup, but the Wasps scored nine consecutive points to trim the deficit to 13 with 7:05 left to play.
The Wasps kept chipping away at the margin and pulled to within seven, 61-54, when Turner made 1-of-2 at the line with 3:15 left. Stapleton then hit the biggest shot of the game when he knocked down a 3-pointer to push the lead back to 10, 64-54, with 2:53 left in the game.
A jumper by Turner cut the lead to 66-59 with 1:08 left, but Thomas stepped to the line and calmly sank two foul shots with 49 seconds left to push the lead back to nine, 66-59. The Eagles hit 3-of-4 foul shots in the final 38 seconds to close out the 71-62 victory.
The Eagles placed three players in double figures, led by Reddick's 19 points. Reddick just missed a double-double as he also had a team-high nine rebounds. Thomas finished with 17 points and seven boards while Stapleton scored 14 points.
Turner led the Wasps with 18 points and Armando Murrell added 14.
The Wasps killed the Eagles on the boards in the first half by a 26-16 margin but the Eagles returned the favor in the second half as Emory & Henry held just a 40-39 margin on the boards at the end of the game. The Eagles had their best shooting game of the season as they connected on 49.1 percent (26-of-53) of their shots. The Wasps connected on just 36 percent of their 58 attempts.
"Defensively I thought we came out with a lot of intensity early. We were able to get some deflections and steals and that led to transition baskets," Bridgewater head coach Don Burgess said. "Romie was a presence inside at the defensive end and Tavis was aggressive at the offensive end and got us off to a quick start."
Burgess was also pleased with the play of Reddick in the second half. "Steady Ed had a big game. We were minus-10 on the boards at half and we challenged the guys to step up in the second half. Ed grabbed some big-boy rebounds and had some big-boy baskets in the second half."
Reddick grabbed eight of his nine boards in the final 20 minutes.
The Eagles are off until next Saturday when they host Averett in non-conference action. Game time is set for 2 p.m.