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Cold-Shooting Second Half Drops Eagles To Loss At Randolph

Cold-Shooting Second Half Drops Eagles To Loss At Randolph

LYNCHBURG, Va. – It was certainly a tale of two halves Saturday afternoon and Randolph's second half was better than Bridgewater's first.

Randolph wiped out a 14-point halftime deficit by outscoring the Eagles 44-21 in the second half to take a 62-53 victory in ODAC men's basketball action.

The Eagles controlled play in the first half as they shot 51.8 percent from the field and limited the WildCats to just 26.1 percent shooting.

Bridgewater opened up some breathing room with a 9-0 run to take an eight-point lead. Ed Reddick hit a pair of free throws to put the Eagles on top 12-10 and then added a jumper for a four-point. David Larson's dunk put the Eagles up by six and a layup by Larson made it 18-10 with 7:12 left in the half.

Two free throws by Randolph's Colton Hunt pulled the WildCats to within eight, 22-14, but Kenneth Waugh knocked down a 3-pointer to push the margin to 11. After Randolph's Alex Cornwell made 1-of-2 free throws, Waugh scored after grabbing an offensive rebound, making the score 27-15 with 4:09 left in the half.

Buckets by Aaron Adams and Reddick and a free throw by Ronnie Thomas gave the Eagles a 17-point lead, 32-15 with 1:21 remaining. Randolph big man Chris Battaglia sent the WildCats to the locker room on a positive note with a 3-pointer with just four ticks left on the clock, trimming the Eagles halftime lead to 32-18.

The WildCats needed less than nine minutes to wipe out the halftime deficit as Bridgewater managed just six points in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Battaglia opened the second half with a layup, but the Eagles countered with a jumper from Matthew Hunter to keep the lead at 14 points.

A 3-point play by Battaglia cut the margin to 11 before Adams made 1-of-2 foul shots for a 35-23 Bridgewater lead.

A layup by Colton Hunt trimmed the margin to 10 and a 3-pointer by Battaglia sliced the margin to seven, 35-28, with 15:47 left.

Tavis Stapleton's 3-pointer pushed the lead back to double figures, but a layup by Hunt and a three-point play by Mike Ehilegbu cut the margin in half as the WildCats pulled to within 38-33.

Buckets by Battaglia and Hunt made it a one-point game before a layup by Lucas Smith put the WildCats on top, 39-38, with 11:44 left in the game.

A 3-pointer by Jason Eddie and a free throw by Battaglia put the WildCats on top 43-38 before a jumper by Thomas snapped a Bridgewater scoreless streak that lasted nearly six minutes.

A jumper by Stapleton pulled the Eagles to within two, 46-44, before an 8-0 Randolph spurt opened up a 10-point lead for the WildCats. A 3-pointer by Hunt and a dunk by Battaglia pushed the Randolph lead to seven with 4:11 left. Evan Horn then drained a 3-pointer and the WildCats led by 10, 54-44, with 3:38 left in the game.

The Eagles got as close as five, 56-51, on a jumper by Stapleton with 55 seconds remaining, but a layup by Battaglia and four straight free throws in the final 22 seconds – two by Horn and a pair by Ehilegbu – finished off Randolph's 62-53 victory.

Randolph hit 60 percent of its shots in the second half while the Eagles went ice cold from the field, making just 8-of-30 shots for 26.7 percent.

Stapleton led the Eagles in scoring with 16 points and Reddick added a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Battaglia poured in 23 points to pace the WildCats while Hunt finished with 12, well below his season average of 26.3 entering Saturday's game.

Bridgewater (10-7 overall and 4-4 in the ODAC) returns to action Wednesday when the Eagles host rival Eastern Mennonite in a big ODAC battle. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

With the victory Saturday, Randolph snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 14-2 overall and 6-2 in conference play.