LYNCHBURG, Va. - Lynchburg College held off the Bridgewater College Eagles, 70-65, Wednesday afternoon to pick up a big ODAC victory. With Wednesday's result, both teams are now 1-2 in conference play.
Lynchburg opened up a nine-point lead in the first half, but the Eagles erased the deficit and took the lead, 34-33, on a Tavis Stapleton 3-pointer with 36 seconds left in the half. Lynchburg regained the lead when Alex Graves scored on a stickback just before the buzzer to give the Hornets a one-point, 35-34, lead at the break.
The teams traded the lead early in the second half before the Hornets took control with a 9-0 run to forge a 46-38 lead with 15:52 left in the game.
The Eagles pulled to within three points three different times, but each time Lynchburg was able to turn back the rally.
After falling behind by eight, the Eagles cut the margin to three, 47-44, on a dunk and a 15-footer from Stapleton.
Manny Hernandez countered with a 3-pointer for the Hornets to keep the Eagles at bay.
A jumper by Aaron Adams cut the deficit to 51-48, but this time Graves answered with back-to-back buckets for a 55-48, Lynchburg lead.
The Hornets continued to build the lead as they hit 5-of-6 free throws attempts to open up a 66-54 advantage with 2:08 left to play. The five foul shots came during a three-minute span when the Eagles failed to score.
Bridgewater made one final run at the Hornets down the stretch. A jumper by Adams and two foul shots by Ronnie Thomas cut the margin to eight with 1:05 left. A bucket by Ed Reddick trimmed the margin to six and, following a Lynchburg turnover, Reddick converted a three-point play, making the score 66-63 with 37 seconds left.
Two free throws by Lynchburg's Michael Glover pushed the margin back to five and then the Eagles turned the ball over on its next series. Austin Chillemi hit 1-of-2 at the line for the Hornets to make the score 69-63 before a pair of free throws by Bridgewater's David Larson cut the lead back to four, 69-65, with 11 seconds left. Brandon Connor made 1-of-2 at the line with nine ticks remaining for the final 70-65 margin.
Reddick led the Eagles with 16 points while Thomas and Adams each finished with nine. Chillemi scored 16 to pace the Hornets. Hernandez added 13 points and Graves scored 11. The Hornets pounded the Eagles on the boards by a 49-38 advantage with Chillemi completing a double-double with 10 rebounds. Kordero Thompson led the Eagles on the glass with seven rebounds.
Bridgewater, now 7-5 overall, returns to action Saturday afternoon when the Eagles travel to Roanoke for a 1 p.m. contest.