BRIDGEWATER, Va. – It was looking like win number 19 would come easily for the Bridgewater Eagles (19-3, 14-3 ODAC) women's basketball team, but a pesky Randolph-Macon Yellow Jackets (17-6, 15-3 ODAC)squad made it a dogfight down the stretch before the Eagles eventually prevailed with a hard-fought 72-68 win.
With the win, Bridgewater runs its home record to 8-0 on the season and its home winning streak to 14.
In the first half, the Eagles rolled out to a 25-9 lead with 8:06 to play in the opening stanza as a number of Randolph-Macon miscues turned into big points for Bridgewater.
Following a timeout, the Yellow Jackets chipped away at the Eagles lead with a 5-0 run to cut the lead to a 25-14 Eagles advantage with less than seven minutes left in the first.
Bridgewater responded with an 11-to-4 run to push the lead to a then game-high 18 points at a 36-18 gap with 1:31 to play in the opening frame.
Randolph-Macon netted the half's final points off of a Jordan Cantrell jumper to cut the lead to 36-20 as the game headed to the intermission.
Bridgewater held Randolph-Macon to just 23% (14-of-38) shooting in the first 20 minutes.
Out of the halftime break, the Eagles went on a 10-4 run over the first two-plus minutes of the half as it looked like the Eagles would run away from the Yellow Jackets in the final 20 minutes of the contest.
Randolph-Macon slowly whittled the Bridgewater lead down bringing the Eagles advantage to 54-42 with 10:08 to play in the first half.
The Eagles lead remained at 12 with 7:38 to play when Burkholder picked up her fourth foul, putting the ODAC's leading scorer on the bench.
Over the next three-and-a-half minutes, Randolph-Macon continued to nip away at the Bridgewater lead, getting it to single-digits off of a pair of Molly Brown free throws with 4:12 to play.
Junior Jenny Logan (Luray, Va./Luray) pushed the Eagles lead back up to 11 with a trio of free throws to put Bridgewater up 63-52 with 3:20 to go.
Randolph-Macon then used an 11-to-5 run to chip the lead to a very manageable 68-63 gap with 39 seconds left when Burkholder fouled Taylor Wieczorek on a layup, which found the bottom of the net, and put Burkholder on the bench for the final 39 ticks with five fouls. Wieczorek converted on her free throw to notch the conventional three-point play, putting the pressure on Bridgewater for the first time since the early going of the first half.
The Yellow Jackets fouled Logan nine seconds later, but the Luray, Va. native connected on both attempts from the charity stripe to push the game to a 70-63 Bridgewater advantage.
At the other end, Randolph-Macon wouldn't go down without a fight when a Katie Williams trey cut the lead to 70-66 with 24 seconds left.
Williams fouled Logan again nine seconds later, but this time Logan missed both free throws to give the Yellow Jackets the ball back.
Randolph-Macon missed a three pointer at the other end, before Emileigh Lambert (Charlottesville, Va./Western Albemarle) yanked the ball out of the air to effectively secure the victory for Bridgewater.
Lambert put the nail in the coffin with a pair of free throws, before Maggie Roy nailed a jumper at the buzzer to finalize the scoring giving Bridgewater a hard-fought 72-68 win.
With the win, Bridgewater avenged a 20-point loss from earlier in the season against Randolph-Macon.
Mullen led a trio of Eagles in double figures with 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Burkholder chipped in 19 for the Bridgewater offense, while Logan knocked in 13, including a 9-of-15 performance from the line.
On the glass, Katelynn Hottinger (Linville, Va./Broadway) led the way with a team-high 10 boards as the Eagles out-rebounded Randolph-Macon by a 48-to-42 margin.
Randolph-Macon was led offensively by a 20-point effort from Roy. Roy led a trio of Yellow Jackets in double figures, including Wieczorek's 11 points and Brown's 10.
Wieczorek pulled down a game-high 11 boards to record the double-double in the loss.
Randolph-Macon edged back into the game with a 24-to-12 advantage in the paint in the second half, but never led in the game.
Bridgewater is back in action on Tuesday night when the team travels to Virginia Wesleyan for its 2010-11 road finale. Action against the Marlins is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. tip.