BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Senior guard Jessica Mullen dropped a season-high 28 points and the Bridgewater Eagles women's basketball team held off a pair of Randolph runs at the end of each half as the Eagles took down the WildCats by a 71-58 tally on Saturday afternoon in Nininger Hall.
For Bridgewater, the win marks the team's sixth in a row, it's longest winning streak since a 10-game run during the 2010-11 season.
After a slow start on the offensive end for both teams, Randolph took an early 2-0 lead off of a pair of Brianna Lowry free throws before Mullen responded with a pair of buckets from the charity stripe to tie the game up 2-2 with 16:27 to play in the opening half.
Randolph regained the lead for the final time on the afternoon when a Jensen Hoover layup put the WildCats ahead 4-2 before Mullen sparked a Bridgewater run.
The Purcellville, Va. native made back-to-back layups to spark a 9-0 Bridgewater run to give the Eagles an 11-4 lead and force a Randolph timeout.
WildCats guard Chelsea Tyler knocked in a pair of free throws to end the run and knocked in another free throw with 12:41 to play in the first half to trim the Bridgewater lead to six at a 13-7 tally.
Following the Tyler layup, Shannan Thorne found the bottom of the net on a layup to build the lead back to eight points, 15-7, with 12:37 to play in the opening stanza before both teams went cold from the floor.
Over the next five minutes, the only points would come off of a pair of Rebecca Reifsnider free throws to build the lead to double figures before a Jessi Strom jumper and a Mullen layup extended the Bridgewater lead to 14 points at a 21-7 margin and forced another Randolph timeout with 6:58 left in the first.
Randolph responded in a big way out of the timeout as Abigail Bullins knocked in a pair of treys and Tyler converted a three-point play to key all of the scoring in a 9-0 WildCats run as Randolph chopped the Bridgewater advantage to five at a 21-16 score with 5:51 to play in the half. Randolph endured a 10 minute stretch without a score from the floor in the first half.
Both teams traded scores over the final six minutes of the opening frame with Randolph getting to within a score with two minutes to play before Bridgewater ended the half with a Mullen layup to take a 33-26 lead into the locker room. Mullen led all scorers with 16 first-half points.
Out of the intermission, Thorne got the scoring started with a pair of free throws to put the lead on the cusp of double digits before layups from Megan Russell and Emilee Dunton carved the Bridgewater lead back to five at a 35-30 gap with 18:34 remaining.
Following Dunton's layup, Mullen responded with her first of back-to-back treys as the Eagles again pushed the lead back to nine points with 17:40 to play.
The Bridgewater lead remained at nine until a pair of Katelynn Hottinger free throws sparked an 8-0 run from the Eagles to build the lead to a game-high 18 points after a Cassidy Burkholder layup with 11 and change left.
Bridgewater's lead remained at 17 after Burkholder converted a three-point play with 4:40 left as the Eagles held a 62-45 advantage.
Randolph wasn't going to go away without a fight. The WildCats slowly worked the Bridgewater lead back to single digits with Bullins knocking in a pair of free throws with 1:43 to play to cut the Eagles' lead to nine at a 65-56 score.
Down the stretch run of the contest, the Eagles converted four free throws and Hottinger knocked in a layup with less than 30 seconds to play as Bridgewater remained in a tie for the top spot in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference with a 71-58 victory.
Mullen led all scorers with 28 points on 9-of-18 shooting. The senior dropped three treys and finished the afternoon 7-of-9 from the free-throw line to pace the Bridgewater offense. Hottinger chipped in 14 points, while Thorne added 10 for the Eagles in the win.
On the glass, Hottinger wrapped up her second double-double of the season with a game-high 12 rebounds as the Eagles controlled the glass by a slim 40-to-38 margin.
Bullins paced the WildCats with 14 points, while Hoover and Tyler each added 10 points for Randolph in the loss.
Bridgewater is back in action on Wednesday when it travels to Shenandoah for a matchup with the Hornets. Start time is set for 7 p.m.