BRIDGEWATER, Va. – The Bridgewater College men's basketball team will take to the road this week for two important ODAC games as the regular season enters its final two weeks of action.
This week, the Eagles will play teams at the opposite ends of the conference standings. Wednesday the Eagles travel to Winchester to play Shenandoah, a team still looking for its first ODAC victory of the season. On Saturday Bridgewater heads to Hampden-Sydney to play the top-ranked team in the ODAC.
Shenandoah enters Wednesday's matchup with a 3-18 overall record and a 0-12 mark in the ODAC.
Guard Jared Carithers leads the Hornets in scoring, averaging 13.1 points per game. The Hornets are a perimeter oriented squad and launch more than 20 3-pointers per contest. Sharif Almulla and Carithers both rank in the Top 10 in the ODAC in 3-point shots made.
Bridgewater won the first meeting against Shenandoah this season, 80-57, in a game the Eagles led by just six points at the half. Bridgewater's Kenneth Waugh hit five 3-pointers in the game and led the Eagles with 15 points. Carithers scored 16 points to lead Shenandoah and guard Bryce Mitchell came off the bench to add 15.
Hampden-Sydney leads the ODAC race with an 11-1 conference mark and a 19-2 overall record.
The Tigers lead the ODAC in scoring (83.4 points per game), field-goal percentage (51.1 percent), rebounding margin (+9.1) and scoring margin (+20 points per game).
The inside tandem of senior Harrison George and junior center Khobi Williamson leads the Tigers in scoring. George averages 15.9 points per game with Williamson right behind with a 15.2 scoring average. Williamson leads the ODAC in field goal percentage, making 65.9 percent of his shots while George is second with a 63.2 shooting percentage. Both rank in the Top 10 in the country in field goal percentage.
The Tigers also feature one of the deeper squads in the ODAC with 10 players averaging at least 10 minutes per outing.
Bridgewater went 2-0 in games during the past week without its leading scorer, Ronnie Thomas. The Eagles wiped out an 18-point second-half deficit to defeat Washington and Lee in double overtime, 67-66, and then slipped past Roanoke, 75-73.
Against W&L, freshman Zach Hunter hit two free throws with eight seconds left in the second overtime to lift the Eagles to the victory. Hunter finished the contest with 10 points and nine steals. Tavis Stapleton led the Eagles with 21 points and Ed Reddick scored 12.
Bridgewater squandered an eight-point lead in the final 1:36 against Roanoke, but Reddick bailed out the Eagles when he banked in a runner with 1.6 seconds left to play for the deciding bucket. Five players reached double digits for the Eagles, led by Stapleton with 15 points and Reddick with 14.
Thomas, who is expected back for the final regular season contest, leads the Eagles in scoring (11.8 points per game), assists (3.0 per game) and steals (1.6 per game). Stapleton and Reddick both average 11.5 points per game while Reddick leads the Eagles on the glass with 6.4 rebounds per game.
The Eagles will wrap up the regular season next week with a road trip to rival Eastern Mennonite and a home game with Guilford.