BRIDGEWATER, Va. – The Bridgewater men's basketball team swings back into conference action this week with a pair of tough road games. The Eagles travel to Lynchburg College tonight and then hit the road again Saturday to meet the Roanoke College Maroons.
Tonight the Eagles will face a Lynchburg team off to a solid 9-2 start. The Hornets are still looking for their first conference victory after close losses to Randolph-Macon, 78-73, and Virginia Wesleyan, 72-65.
Lynchburg is second in the conference in scoring, averaging 81.8 points per game. The Hornets feature a balanced attack with options in the paint and on the perimeter. Sharp-shooter Manny Hernandez, one of the top 3-point threats in the ODAC, leads the Hornets in scoring with a 14.7 average. Big-man Austin Chillemi averages 13.4 points per game and forward Michael Wims chips in with 11.0 points per game. Point guard Xavier Parham leads the ODAC in assists with 5.7 per game and steals with 4.1 per game.
Roanoke is also off to a solid start with a 7-4 record. The Maroons host nationally-ranked St. Mary's tonight.
Like Lynchburg, the Maroons are still looking for their first ODAC victory. Roanoke lost close matchups against Virginia Wesleyan and Eastern Mennonite, losing both games by six points. The Maroons were blitzed at Hampden-Sydney, losing 100-62.
The Maroons boast one of the most prolific scorers in the conference with senior guard Kwasi Amponsah. Amponsah is second in the conference in scoring, averaging 21.0 points per game.
Roanoke also boasts a solid inside option with forward Andrew Daniels scoring 10.7 points per game while center Daniel Eacho is close behind with a 10.6 average. Guard Julian Ramirez gives the Maroons a fourth double-figure scorer with 10.1 points per game.
While Amponsah is the go-to player, Daniels, Ramirez and guard Jordan Thacker have each posted 20-point performances this season.
The trouble-spot for the Maroons thus far this season has been at the defensive end of the floor where they allow 79.8 points per game to rank last in the ODAC in scoring defense.
The Eagles are 7-4 on the season and 1-1 in conference play. Bridgewater's four losses have come against teams with a combined record of 34-10. In their most recent outing, the Eagles lost at Christopher Newport, 97-74. The 19th-ranked Captains led the Eagles by 21 points at the half, but the Eagles cut the lead to seven early in the second half before CNU pulled away down the stretch.
Junior guard Ronnie Thomas scored a career-high 25 points in the loss to CNU and leads the Eagles in scoring with a 14.1 average. Guard Tavis Stapleton is averaging 11.3 points per game while forward Ed Reddick is scoring 10.1 points per contest.