BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Behind three players in double figures and near triple-double numbers from senior Katelynn Hottinger, the Bridgewater Eagles women's basketball team held off a feverish second-half rally from visiting Frostburg State to earn a 70-59 non-conference victory on Monday night in Nininger Hall.
The win for the Eagles snaps a two-game skid.
Bridgewater struck first out of the gate when a Jessica Mullen layup gave the Eagles an early lead but the two teams traded scores in the early going with Bridgewater leading 8-6 with 16:10 to play in the first after a pair of Ronje' James free throws for the Bobcats.
Following James' conversions from the charity stripe, Bridgewater responded with a 6-0 spurt to build a 14-6 lead. Mullen opened the run with a layup, before freshman Cassidy Burkholder and Hottinger followed with layups to round out the run.
The Bridgewater lead remained at six, 16-10, with 13:16 to go in the opening frame before buckets from Molly Shelley and Burkholder built the advantage to a then game-high 10.
Frostburg State answered the quick points with a run of its own to trim the Bridgewater advantage to a single point with 8:17 to play in the opening stanza. Bobcats guard Elaina Hummel opened the run with a trey before a Brionna Hall jumper and a James layup trimmed the gap to one possession. Stephanie Straka rounded out the Frostburg State run with a layup to carve the Bridgewater advantage to 20-19.
The lead hung at a point until a Holly Morgan jumper kick-started an 11-0 Bridgewater run as the Eagles built a sizeable lead as the game approached the half. Morgan started the run with back-to-back scores before Burkholder tallied six straight points off of a three-pointer and a conventional three-point play to push the lead back to double digits. Shelley added a layup during the run and freshman Jessi Strom converted a free throw to push the Eagles to a 35-21 advantage with 3:01 to play in the first half.
Frostburg State trimmed the lead back to 11 before the Eagles scored the final four points of the opening frame to take a 39-24 lead into the locker room.
Bridgewater's stellar defensive effort limited the Bobcats to a 9-of-35 (25.8%) performance from the floor, while Hottinger posted an astounding seven blocks in the first 20 minutes of play.
Out of the intermission, the Bobcats knocked in four quick points to cut the Bridgewater lead back to 11 at a 39-28 tally.
Bridgewater pushed its lead back to 13 off of back-to-back Morgan buckets before the Bobcats used a pair of Straka layups to cut the Eagles' lead to nine at a 43-34 tally with 16:32 remaining.
The Eagles answered with six straight points, with Mullen sparking the run with five points, to push the lead to 15 at a 49-34 tally, forcing a Frostburg State timeout.
Out of the timeout, both teams traded scores with the Eagles leading by a 51-36 tally with 14:39 to play after a Burkholder jumper.
Following the score, the Bobcats used a 10-0 run to cut the Bridgewater lead down to five points with 11 and change left in the contest. Straka ended the run with a layup, forcing a Bridgewater timeout.
After the timeout, the Eagles ended the run with a Hottinger layup, but a pair of scores from Straka trimmed the game to a one-possession contest at a 53-50 margin with 9:19 left.
Frostburg State drew the Bridgewater lead to two points off of a pair of Hummel free throws with 7:36 to play, before the Eagles effectively put the game away.
Mullen knocked in a pair of free throws and hit a jumper to build the Bridgewater lead back to six, before a Morgan runner extended the lead to eight points at a 63-55 margin with five and change remaining.
The Bobcats made one final push to draw to within four points at a 63-59 margin but it was as close as they would get as Bridgewater converted from the line down the stretch run of the contest to pull away to a 70-59 victory.
Mullen paced the way for the Bridgewater offense with a game-high 24 points. Burkholder added a career-high 16 points, while Morgan rounded out the Eagles in double figures with a dozen. Mullen also added seven steals for the Eagles in the win.
Hottinger just missed her first career triple-double as the senior tallied nine points to go along with a game-high 17 rebounds and nine blocks. The Linville, Va. native's 17 boards and nine blocks both marked career highs.
Bridgewater out-rebounded the Bobcats by a 46-35 margin and pulled down 17 offensive rebounds in the win. The Eagles posted a 16-8 advantage in second-chance points. Bridgewater also converted 20 Bobcats turnovers into a 25-16 advantage in points off of turnovers.
Frostburg State had three players in double figures and was led by a 16-point evening from Straka. Forward Brynn Arnone added a team-high nine boards in the loss.
Bridgewater is back in action on Thursday evening when it heads to Eastern Mennonite for a key conference affair with the Royals. Start time from Yoder Arena is set for 7 p.m.