WINCHESTER, Va. – The Bridgewater women's basketball team fell to the Shenandoah Hornets, 72-66, on Wednesday night in Shingleton Gymnasium.
Shenandoah (7-9, 3-4) scored the first eight points of the game from three back-to-back layups and two free throws with 18:31 left to play in the first.
The Shenandoah run continued with 10 minutes left to play including two jump shots from Imani Heggins, keeping the gap at 11 points.
Bridgewater (7-6, 5-2) fought back with freshmen Jessi Strom and O'Shene Kelly at the helm, with the pair knocking in four points for the Eagles to bring the score to 24-23 with four minutes and change left in the half.
Freshman Cassidy Burkholder grabbed an important defensive rebound to put the ball back on the Eagles side of the court, where Mullen knocked in a trey putting the Eagles in the lead, 26-24.
A Hornets free throw tied the game with the two and a half minutes left in the half but Burkholder hit a layup to give the Eagles the lead once again. Mullen also added a bucket for the Eagles, handing Bridgewater a 30-27 lead at the break.
Out of the intermission, Shenandoah's Sara D'Amico knocked in a trey just 14 seconds into the second half to tie up the score.
Strom responded by knocking in a three-pointer off of a Hornets turnover giving the lead back to Bridgewater, 33-30.
Following a pair of Hottinger free throws, the Hornets fought back with two layups from Heggins and D'Amico. Heggins drilled a free throw with 12:53 left in play tying up the score at 43.
The lead shifted the way of the Hornets with ten minutes left in the contest due in part to an Eagles turnover and Nicole Gibertson layup.
Strom responded with a jumper pulling the game to a two-point battle but soon after the Hornets replied with a trey with eight minutes and change left in the second half.
With three and a half minutes to play, the Hornets were up by six points, but Strom swung the ball to Mullen, who knocked down a three-pointer to bring the gap to four.
Mullen buried another trey to tie the game up at 60 with two minutes and change left to play.
With one minute remaining, Hottinger committed a foul putting D'Amico at the line and earned two points for the Hornets, giving them a four-point advantage.
Following a Shenandoah timeout, Strom committed a foul sending Gilbertson to the line. Gilbertson calmly sank both free throws and earned the Hornets a six point lead with 43 seconds left.
Junior Holly Morgan drilled a three-pointer with five seconds left in play to narrow the gap to four points but D'Amaico added two more points from the line earning Shenandoah the 72-66 win.
Mullen dropped a game-high 28 points for the Eagles and was joined by an 11-point effort from Burkholder and 10 points from Hottinger. Bridgewater shot 43.4% on the evening and was 15-19 from the free throw line.
Burkholder and Hottinger each pulled down six rebounds for Bridgewater.
For Shenandoah, four of the five starters were in double figures. Heggins and Holly Chittenden each recorded double-doubles with a combined 21 rebounds.
Bridgewater is back in action on Saturday in Nininger Hall when Guilford comes to town. Tip time on Saturday is set for 3p.m.