BRIDGEWATER - Bridgewater College opened Wednesday night's game with a 14-2 run and the Eagles never trailed in a 67-52 ODAC victory over Virginia Wesleyan University.
Bridgewater (10-6, 4-3 in the ODAC) held the Marlins scoreless for more than four minutes to jump out to an 8-0 lead. Josh Cammon put the Eagles on the board with an inside bucket and Dimetri Chambers scored on a driving layup to make the score 4-0. Ken Stanciel came off the Eagles bench and scored a pair of buckets to put the Eagles on top 8-0 at the 15:50 mark of the first half.
Virginia Wesleyan (10-6, 4-3 in the ODAC) broke the ice with a 15-footer by RJ Nicholson, making the score 8-2 with 15:35 left in the half. The Eagles answered with the next six points to lead 14-2. Stanciel scored off an assist from Sami El-Rafey and Chambers converted a layup in traffic for a 12-2 Eagles' lead. Miles Barrett added an off-balance jumper to put Bridgewater up 14-2 with 13:43 remaining in the half.
The Marlins finally got untracked at the offensive end with a 5-0 spurt to make it 14-7, but Stanciel hit two foul shots for a 16-7 Eagles' lead. Percy Burt knocked down a jumper for the Marlins but TJ Turner answered from long range to put the Bridgewater lead back to double figures at 19-9 with 11:26 on the first-half clock.
The lead was still in double digits after Chambers drove the lane for a layup to put the Eagles on top 32-21 at the 2:28 mark. Marlins' guard Tyree Golston drained a 3-pointer in the final minute of the half to trim the Eagles' lead back to single digits, 32-24, at the half.
The visitors opened the second half with a 10-3 flurry to cut the margin to a single point, 35-34, with 16:17 left in the game. Stanciel and Mark James then converted inside buckets to push the Eagles ahead by five, 39-34.
Tim Fisher knocked down a jumper to pull the Marlins back to within three, 39-36, but the Eagles ran off seven straight points to once again lead by double figures. Chandler Murray started the run with a jumper and Turner connected from 3-point range, making the score 44-36. Chambers then drove the lane and dished off to Zach Breathwaite for an easy layup to give Bridgewater a 46-36 advantage with 13 minutes left to play.
Bridgewater pushed its lead to 13 points before an 8-1 spurt by the Marlins trimmed the margin to six points, 52-46, with eight minutes left in the game.
The Marlins inched closer when Corey White Jr. hit a pair of foul shots with 6:52 left, pulling the visitors to within four points, 53-49.
The Eagles regained control of the game with a 12-0 run over the next four-plus minutes to take a comfortable 16-point lead. Breathwaite and Cammon scored inside and Murray made 1-of-2 free throws for a 58-49 Eagles' lead. The teams traded empty possessions until Chambers made a pair of foul shots to make it 60-49 at the 3:45 mark.
After a Marlins' turnover, Murray missed from long range,, but Cammon grabbed the rebound and scored to put the Eagles on top 62-49. After another Marlins' turnover, Chambers made two free throws for a 64-49 Eagles' lead with 3:06 left in the game. Another Virginia Wesleyan turnover gave the Eagles possession and Chambers made 1-of-2 at the line, making the score 65-49 with just 2:41 left to play.
Chambers led the Eagles with 14 points and Cammon scored 11. Bridgewater continued to get strong play off the bench as Stanciel added 13 points and Turner made three shots from beyond the arc to finish with nine points. The Bridgewater bench outscored the Marlins, 30-23. Golston led the Marlins with 12 points and Lamont Steward added 10.
The Eagles also won the rebounding battle by a 40-36 margin. Stanciel and El-Rafey each pulled down nine rebounds for the Eagles while Steward paced the visitors with seven boards.
Bridgewater returns to action Saturday afternoon when the Eagles host Roanoke College. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m.