ROANOKE, Va. - Senior Jessica Mullen knocked in a season-high 20 points and sophomore Shannan Thorne chipped in an additional 10 as the Bridgewater Eagles women's basketball team took an early lead and never relinquished it in a 75-50 victory over Hollins in Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) action on Wednesday evening.
Thorne scored the first four points of the contest to give the Eagles an early four-point lead with 18:11 to play in the opening stanza.
Hollins got on the board on a pair of free throws from Jasmine Greene to cut the Eagles' advantage in half before Bridgewater scored six unanswered points to build a 10-2 lead with 15:21 to play in the first half. Junior Holly Morgan knocked in a jumper to open the spurt before senior Katelynn Hottinger buried a pair of jumpers to put the Eagles up by eight.
Following the Bridgewater mini-run, Hollins answered with an Auburn Smith bucket to cut the Eagles' lead to 10-4 before a Thorne jumper sparked another 6-0 run from the Eagles. Thorne nailed another layup to build the lead to double figures before freshman Cassidy Burkholder stuck in a layup to finish the run and put Bridgewater up by a 16-4 margin with 13:34 left in the opening frame.
Hollins responded with a run of its own to carve the Bridgewater lead in half at a 19-13 margin with 10 and change to play in the first before Mullen tallied six points in a row to push the lead back to double digits at a 25-14 margin with under eight left in the opening half.
Bridgewater outpaced Hollins by a 10-6 gap over the final eight minutes to build a 35-20 lead at the intermission.
Thorne led the Eagles in the opening half with nine points, while Mullen and junior Molly Shelley added six points each as Bridgewater shot at a 41% clip from the floor over the first 20 minutes.
Out of the halftime break, Bridgewater built its lead to 16 off of a trey from freshman Jessi Strom before Hollins ran off seven straight points to bring the Eagles' lead back to single figures at a 38-29 margin with 16:22 left in the contest.
After the Hollins run, Mullen responded in a big way for the Eagles. The senior buried three jumpers and a layup to tally all eight points in a 8-0 Bridgewater spurt to extend the lead to a then game-high 17 points, 46-29.
Hollins ended the Bridgewater run with a pair of free throws before the Eagles used a Shelley jumper and back-to-back buckets from Strom to take their largest lead to that point in the contest at a 54-33 tally with under 10 to play.
Numerous miscues by Bridgewater and a few quick buckets from Hollins carved the lead back to a manageable 14 points for Hollins with six and change to play before Bridgewater put the finishing touches on its first win of the season.
Bridgewater ended the contest on a 17-6 run to pull away from Hollins and head home with an easy 75-50 victory.
The Eagles shot at a blistering 61% tally from the floor in the second half.
Mullen finished the evening with a game-high 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting. The senior also knocked in 6-of-7 free throws and dished out a team-high four assists in the win. Bridgewater outshot Hollins by a 51%-to-33% gap on the evening.
Hottinger pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds to lead the Eagles on the glass as Bridgewater out-rebounded Hollins by a 41-30 tally.
Hollins was paced offensively by Greene's 17-point evening.
On the glass, Lauren Hays pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the way for Hollins.
The Eagles owned a 26-to-16 edge on the evening in points off of turnovers.
Bridgewater is back in action on Saturday when it returns to Nininger Hall for the 2012-13 home opener. Tip-off against visiting Roanoke is set for 1 p.m. Fans are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to Saturday's game to receive free admission for both halves of Bridgewater's men's and women's basketball doubleheader.