BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Despite four players in double figures and a pair of double-double efforts, the Bridgewater Eagles women's basketball team couldn't hold on to a late lead in a 69-64 loss to the Roanoke Maroons on Saturday afternoon in Nininger Hall.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak against the Maroons.
Roanoke scored first and held the lead early as Tatum McKee got the Maroons on the board with a jumper and Paxton Gwin put the visiting Maroons in front by five with a trey, digging the Eagles an early hole.
Roanoke answered the Bridgewater spurt with a 13-2 run to build their lead to 13 points at an 18-5 gap with 11:13 to play in the opening stanza.
Bridgewater cut the Maroons' lead back to single figures off of a jumper from Jessi Strom, a layup from Rebecca Reifsnider and a Holly Morgan hoop to bring the Roanoke lead to 18-11 with eight and change to play in the first half.
After the Bridgewater run, the Maroons again answered with a streak of their own, this time a 7-0 run, to build their lead back to double figures at a 25-11 score with 5:16 to play in the first.
Bridgewater answered with a big run to end the half and carve the Roanoke lead down to a manageable five points at the break. The Eagles used a 16-5 run over the final five-plus minutes to head to the locker room at a 31-26 deficit.
Freshman Cassidy Burkholder knocked in two jumpers, a layup and a free throw down the stretch run of the first half to lead the Eagles at the intermission with 10 points. Senior Katelynn Hottinger pitched in a pair of jumpers as well to help the Eagles cut into the Roanoke halftime lead.
Mullen hit a layup to open the second-half scoring before a Morgan three-point play tied the game up for the first time at 31 points each less than a minute into the second half.
Roanoke responded with an 8-0 run to regain the advantage as a pair of treys and a Laurel Hankins jumper put the Maroons in front by a 39-31 score with 17:55 to play.
After a scoring exchange ended the Roanoke spurt, Bridgewater again used a big run to gain its first lead of the contest.
Mullen buried a shot from beyond the arc to kick start a 10-0 Bridgewater run as the Eagles took their first lead of the game at a 43-41 score with 13:36 remaining. Mullen capped off the run with a layup as the Purcellville, Va. native registered seven of the Eagles' 10 points during the spurt.
Over the next five minutes, the two teams went back-and-forth, trading the lead before a pair of Thorne free throws knotted the game up at 51 points apiece with 8:33 to play.
Thorne gave Bridgewater the lead on a made free throw before Burkholder drilled a three to build the Eagles' lead to 55-51 with seven and change remaining.
The Eagles built their lead to as high as five points at a 57-52 tally off of a Thorne layup before the Maroons made a late-game surge.
McKee hit a layup and Meghan Gadell put in a pair of free throws to trim the Bridgewater lead to one before a Mullen three extended the Bridgewater lead back to four at a 60-56 tally with 3:04 left.
Gadell hit a trey and McKee followed with a layup to put the Maroons back up at a 61-60 tally with 2:32 remaining.
Freshman OShene Kelly checked into the game and provided a big spark to the Eagles off of the bench. Kelly hit a layup to put Bridgewater back in front and pushed the lead to three with a pair of free throws to put the Eagles out in front by a 64-61 tally with two and change left.
Maroons guard Markia Beckwith hit a pair of free throws to cut the Bridgewater advantage to one with 85 ticks to play before a Gwin layup handed Roanoke a 65-64 lead.
Roanoke converted four free throws down the stretch to pull away to a 69-64 victory over Bridgewater.
Mullen led four players in double figures for the Eagles with a game-high 18 points. The senior went 7-of-24 from the floor and 2-for-2 from the line to lead all scorers. Burkholder finished the game with 10 points to aid the Eagles' offense.
Thorne pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds to finish the game with a 10-point, 12-rebound double-double. Hottinger was also stellar with 10 rebounds and 10 points in a double-double effort. The Eagles out-rebounded Roanoke on the afternoon by a 43-37 tally.
Bridgewater committed 20 turnovers on the afternoon which led to a 20-13 advantage for the Maroons in points off turnovers.
Roanoke was paced offensively by McKee's 17-point outing. Gwin chipped in 12 for the Maroons in the win.
Gwin and McKee also pulled down eight rebounds each to lead Roanoke on the glass.
Bridgewater outshot Roanoke by a 41%-to-36% tally on the afternoon, but Roanoke's 8-for-20 effort from long range proved to be the difference in the contest.
Bridgewater is back in action on December 17 when it travels to San Juan, Puerto Rico for the Puerto Rico Shootout. The Eagles tangle with 10th-ranked Messiah at 11 a.m.