BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Virginia Wesleyan used a 9-0 run midway through the second half to open up a 16-point lead and the Marlins held on down the stretch for an 80-68 victory over Bridgewater College in ODAC men's basketball action Tuesday evening at Nininger Hall.
The Eagles played on even terms early in the contest as defense dominated the action. After the first 10 minutes of play, the Eagles held a 12-10 lead, taking the upper hand on a pair of free throws by Kenneth Waugh.
The Marlins regained the lead, 13-12, on two free throws by DJ Woodmore before a 3-pointer by Will Smith III pushed the lead to four, 16-12. A jumper by Ronnie Thomas pulled the Eagles to within two with 8:21 left in the half, but then the Marlins slowly began to stretch the lead.
A three-point play by Marlins point guard Tre Ford pushed the lead to double digits for the first time before a layup by the Eagles Ed Reddick cut the margin to 35-27 with 1:10 left in the half. Reddick carried the Eagles at the offensive end in the opening half as he hit all seven of his shots to score 14 points. Woodmore followed the Reddick bucket with a 15-footer to send Virginia Wesleyan to the locker room with a 10-point, 37-27, halftime lead.
The first 10 minutes of the second half were a virtual standoff as the Marlins lead fluctuated between seven and 12 points.
The Eagles cut the margin to seven, 42-35, on a jumper by Tavis Stapleton with 12:35 left, but Bridgewater went scoreless over the next four minutes and the Marlins took advantage with a 9-0 run to open up a 16-point lead.
Chris Astorga capped the key spurt with a 3-pointer from the top of the key, making the score 61-45, with 8:35 left on the clock.
A jumper by Ford put the Marlins on top by 13 before a layup by Stapleton and a 3-pointer by Waugh cut the Virginia Wesleyan lead to eight, 74-66, with 1:52 on the clock.
Ford then missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and Stapleton converted a driving layup at the other end to make it a six-point game, 74-68.
Astorga then iced the game with four straight foul shots and a layup as the Marlins remained undefeated in conference play with the 80-68 victory.
Bridgewater (8-6, 2-3 ODAC) placed four players in double figures with Reddick leading the way with 20 points. Stapleton scored 17 points, followed by Thomas with 14 and Waugh with 10.
Woodmore led the Marlins (9-4, 5-0 ODAC) with a game-high 24 points. Astorga added 21 and Ford finished with 10.
The Marlins held a 45-38 edge on the glass with Woodmore finishing off a double-double with 10 boards. Reddick, Thomas, Stapleton and David Larson each pulled down five rebounds to lead Bridgewater. Thomas finished off a solid floor game with six assists.
Bridgewater returns to action Saturday afternoon when the Eagles travel to Randolph-Macon.