SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico. - Head Coach Jean Willi and the Bridgewater Eagles women's basketball team have arrived safely in Puerto Rico and will tangle with one of the nation's top teams in the two-day Puerto Rico Shootout in the capital city of San Juan.
Bridgewater opens the two-game set on Monday afternoon against Messiah College. The Falcons were ranked eighth in the latest edition of the D3Hoops.com Women's Basketball Poll, released last Monday.
On Tuesday, the Eagles will do battle with one of the teams from Puerto Rico when Bridgewater takes to the court against a relative unknown in Sacred Heart.
Messiah is off to an unblemished start, winning its first eight games of the season including five wins in conference play. The Falcons opened the season with a win over Methodist before upending Eastern Mennonite by eight points in the final game of the Messiah Tip-Off. Messiah is fresh off of a 13-point triumph over Lycoming College on Friday.
On the season, the Falcons are paced by the inside play of senior forward Dori Gyori. Gyori averages a team-high 16.8 points per game and nearly averages a double-double with 9.6 rebounds per outing. A native of Hungary, Gyori is coming off of a monster, 24-point, 18-rebound double-double against Lycoming.
Two others are averaging double-figure numbers for the Falcons with Kira Maier and Taylor Miller tallying 11.8 and 10.1 points per game, respectively.
Messiah has outscored its eight opponents by an average of 18 points per game with its 33-point victory over Hood being its largest margin of victory on the season.
Monday morning's contest with the Falcons will see two coaches go at it with 813 wins between them. Messiah head coach Mike Miller won his 500th game on December 8 and currently owns 501 victories, while Willi sits at 312 career wins.
Bridgewater continues to push ahead despite a pair of early-season near misses. The Eagles fell in a pair of contests to open the season, but had a near miss at Catholic. Bridgewater led Catholic late in the contest, but couldn't hold the Cardinals off down the stretch in a tough loss.
In its last contest, the Eagles had a late lead against Roanoke in the home opener, but couldn't keep the Maroons at bay as Bridgewater fell to 1-4 on the season. Bridgewater's lone victory came by a 25-point margin over Hollins in the conference opener.
Bridgewater is led by the offensive efforts of senior guard Jessica Mullen. Mullen is averaging 15 points per game and is shooting 32% from the floor.
Senior forward Katelynn Hottinger has aided the Eagles on the offensive end with 7.6 points per game, but is also a force on the glass, averaging 8.4 boards per outing. Sophomore Shannan Thorne has also been solid, averaging seven points per game and a team-leading 11.6 rebounds.
The Eagles wrap up the tournament on Tuesday against Sacred Heart at a time that has yet to be determined.
Bridgewater arrived in Puerto Rico on Friday after an early-morning departure from the College. On Saturday, the Eagles explored a rainforest before traveling to Old San Juan on Sunday for some shopping and sight-seeing.