BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The Bridgewater College men's basketball team will look to get back to the Salem Civic Center for the first time in three years when the Eagles host Roanoke College in an ODAC Tournament First-Round game Tuesday evening at Nininger Hall. Game time is 7:00 p.m.
The last visit to the Civic Center for the Eagles came in the 2009-10 season when Bridgewater ended its season with an 87-67 loss to rival Eastern Mennonite, 87-67.
Bridgewater (14-11, 8-8 in the ODAC) swept the season series from Roanoke (10-15, 3-13 in the ODAC).
The Maroons, however, won two of their final three regular season games, including an 83-81 victory at Eastern Mennonite on the final day of the regular season. That victory by Roanoke moved the Eagles up to the No. 7 seed for the tournament and set up a third meeting between the Maroons and Eagles.
In the first meeting of the season in Salem, Bridgewater's collective bench effort overcame a 25-point outburst by Roanoke reserve Andrew Daniels as the Eagles left the Bast Center with a 64-57 victory.
The Eagles led by as many as 11 points in the first half, but the Maroons rallied and cut the deficit to one, 34-33, at the break.
Bridgewater used a 9-0 run during a five-minute Roanoke dry spell in second half to regain its biggest lead of the game at 11 points. David Larson started the run with a layup at the 12:48 mark, giving the Eagles a five–point lead. Jumpers by Kenneth Waugh and Daniel McClain pushed the advantage to nine before a layup by Ed Reddick put the Eagles on top, 52-41, with 7:42 to play.
Roanoke cut the BC lead to five points on a free throw by Daniels with 2:38 remaining, but the Maroons would get no closer as the Eagles finished off the 64-57 victory. Reddick led the Eagles with 19 points while the reserves combined for 37 points. Waugh and Aaron Adams came off the bench and scored 10 points each and Larson finished with nine.
In the second meeting of the season, the Maroons led by nine in the first half, but the Eagles rallied and took a three-point, 36-33, at the half.
Roanoke opened up a 10-point lead on a 3-pointer by Daniels with 11:58 left in the game, but the Eagles responded with an 11-2 surge to cut the Maroons lead down to one, 59-48, with 8:08 left.
A 3-pointer by Bridgewater's Tavis Stapleton put the Eagles back on top. 62-61, with 6:42 left. Roanoke took its final lead of the game on a Daniels' 3-pointer with 3:26 to play, but Kordero Thompson hit two foul shots on the next offensive trip for a 66-65 Eagles lead.
Bridgewater led by six down the stretch when buckets by McClain and Stapleton made the score 72-66 with 1:07 left.
The Maroons were far from finished as they rallied to tie the score. Two free throws by Roanoke's Julian Ramirez sliced the margin to four and, after Reddick missed two foul shots, Daniel Eacho knocked down a short jumper to pull the Maroons to within two points.
Bridgewater's Zach Hunter went to the foul line with 22 seconds left and made 1-of-2 shots, before Kwasi Amponsah drained a long 3-pointer to tie the score at 73,72 with 16 ticks on the clock.
The Eagles held for the last shot and Reddick drove from the left wing into the paint and hit a running 8-footer with 1.8 seconds left to lift the Eagles to the 75-73 victory.
The Eagles used a balanced scoring attack to overcome the Maroons. Stapleton led Bridgewater with 15 points and Reddick added 14. Zach Hunter and Adams each finished with 12 and Matthew Hunter scored 10. Amponsah and Daniels netted 20 points each for the Maroons. Eacho scored 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Ramirez added 10 points.
For the season, Amponsah is averaging 17.2 points per game to rank third in the conference in scoring. Eacho adds 12.3 points per game and ranks second in the ODAC with 8.1 rebounds per outing. Daniels scores at an 11.7 per game clip, but averages twice that amount when playing the Eagles as he has scored 45 points in the two games. Ramirez is also a factor at the offensive end where he dishes out 4.1 assists per game to rank second in the ODAC. He also scores 9.3 points per contest.
Reddick leads the Eagles in both scoring and rebounding with 11.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Stapleton averages 11.4 points per game and is coming off a career-high 26 points against Guilford. Thomas scores 11.0 points per game and leads the Eagles in assists with 3.0 per game. Thomas missed the second game against Roanoke due to an injured wrist.
The winner of Tuesday's first-round contest will advance to the ODAC quarterfinals on Friday at the Salem Civic Center and will meet the No. 2 seed Hampden-Sydney Tigers. Game time for Friday's game will be 6:00 p.m.
Hampden-Sydney (22-3, 14-2 in the ODAC) had little trouble with the Maroons and Eagles during the regular season. The Tigers rolled past Roanoke 100-62 and defeated Bridgewater 94-49. Both games were played in the Fleet Center on Hampden-Sydney's Campus.
NOTE: The first-round game with Roanoke is considered a conference tournament game, thus there will be no free admission. This includes players' parents and Bridgewater Eagle Club members. Admission is $5 for all adults. Students (with ID) and children wil be admitted free.