LYNCUBRG - The difference from 3-point range proved to be the difference in the game Saturday afternoon as Lynchburg College defeated Bridgewater, 80-66, in the regular season finale for both teams.
The Eagles couldn't buy a bucket from long range, hitting just 6-of-33 for 18.2 percent. The Hornets, however, were on fire from beyond the arc, making 13-of-25 shots for 52 percent.
With the loss, the Eagles finish the regular season with a 14-11 overall record and an 8-8 mark in the ODAC. The Eagles will host a home game in the opening round of the ODAC men's basketball tournament on Tuesday evening as the No. 8 seed. Bridgewater will play the No. 9 seed, Eastern Mennonite.
Zack Breathwaite scored on Bridgewater's first possession of the game, but the Hornets reeled off 14 straight points to lead 14-2. Ken Stanciel broke a six-minute scoreless drought for the Eagles with an inside bucket to make it 14-4. Stanciel's hoop started a 10-2 Bridgewater run that sliced the Lynchburg lead to 16-12.
The Hornets then answered with a 6-0 spurt to regain a double-digit advantage, 22-12. The Lynchburg lead was still 10 points, 36-26, with 5:18 left in the half, but the Eagles scored seven straight points in the next minute to pull to within three. Sami El-Rafey knocked down a 3-pointer and Dimetri Chambers scored on a layup, to trim the margin to 36-31. Chambers then turned a steal into an easy bucket, cutting the Hornets' edge to 36-33.
The Hornets maintained the lead the remainder of the half and led by nine at the break after Connor Schroeder hit a 3-pointer in the closing seconds for a 47-38 halftime margin.
The Eagles scored the first four points of the second half to pull to within five points and the teams traded points for the next eight minutes with Lynchburg's lead hovering around the six-point mark.
Bridgewater pulled to within three, 53-50, when Josh Cammon scored inside with 10:58 left. The Eagles had several chances to tie the score, but went 0-for-3 from 3-point range before TC Thacker scored for the Hornets to put the lead at five, 55-50. El-Rafey scored for the Eagles to cut the lead back to three, but Austin Wrighten, Chance Green and Schroeder hit three straight from beyond the arc and the Lynchburg lead was back up to 12, 64-52, with 6:51 remaining.
The Hornets led by double figures the rest of the way to close out the 80-66 victory.
Chandler Murray led the Eagles with 18 points. Stanciel scored 11 points and Chambers finished with 10. Lynchburg's Schroeder led all scorers with 21 points and Greene added 17.