BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Kenneth Waugh's 3-point barrage broke open a close game in the second half Wednesday night as the Bridgewater College Eagles pulled away for an 80-57 victory over Shenandoah University in ODAC men's basketball action.
After Shenandoah's Eli McEathron opened the game with a 3-pointer, the Eagles threatened to pull away with a 15-0 run, keyed by an impressive start by Tavis Stapleton.
The Eagles got on the board when Stapleton dished to Ronnie Thomas for an easy layup. Stapleton put the Eagles ahead with a layup and then the Carthage, Texas native added a breakaway dunk and a baseline jumper to put the Eagles on top 8-3. Thomas and Matthew Hunter knocked down shots for a 12-3 lead and Thomas capped the run with a 3-pointer from the corner, making the score 15-3.
The Hornets weathered the early Bridgewater run and responded with a 12-2 spurt, fueled by reserve guard Bryce Mitchell. Mitchell came off the bench to score 10 points during the spurt to pull Shenandoah to within two, 17-15, with 10:22 left in the half.
The Eagles answered with a quick 9-0 run to build the lead back to 12 points. Aaron Adams converted a three-point play before Zach Hunter and Thomas knocked down shots from 3-point range to put the Eagles on top 27-15 with 6:46 on the first-half clock.
Once again the Hornets were able to hang close and a 25-footer at the buzzer by guard Jared Carithers pulled the Hornets to within six, 33-27, at the break.
Shenandoah (3-13, 0-7 in the ODAC) continued to slice away at the lead to start the second half as layups by McEathron and Kevin Lecsaint made it a two-point game, 33-31.
Stapleton hit 1-of-2 free throws and Daniel McClain scored after an offensive board to put the Eagles up 36-31. Waugh then gave Bridgewater a little breathing room with back-to-back 3-pointers, making the score 42-31 with 15:53 left in the game.
The teams traded points until two more 3-pointers by Waugh pushed the Eagles lead to 15 points, 52-37, with 10:30 remaining.
After a free throw by Lescaint, Bridgewater blew the game open with a 10-0 run to open up a 24-point lead.
David Larson worked the paint and converted a three-point play and Waugh added his fifth 3-pointer of the half, making the score 58-38. Larson hit two more free throws before Zach Hunter drove the lane for a layup, giving the Eagles a 62-38 lead with 8:07 left.
Waugh's 15 points led a balanced Eagles attack as 13 players broke into the scoring column. Thomas was the only other player in double figures as he finished with 10. Larson and Adams each scored nine points and Sammy Tyson added a career-high eight.
Bridgewater controlled the glass by a 45-32 margin with Ed Reddick leading the way with eight rebounds. Stapleton grabbed five boards while Zach Hunter finished with five rebounds and four assists.
Carithers led the Hornets with 16 points and Mitchell finished with 15.
Bridgewater (10-6, 4-3 in the ODAC) returns to action Saturday for a 2:00 p.m. game at Randolph College.