Shelley’s Jumper Propels Eagles to 69-67 Victory at Roanoke; Bridgewater Earns Four Seed for the ODAC Tournament
ROANOKE, Va. – With 10 seconds left in a tie contest, junior Molly Shelley knocked in a jumper to hand the Bridgewater Eagles women's basketball team a 69-67 victory over Roanoke in the regular season finale on Saturday afternoon at the Bast Center.
With the win, Bridgewater secures the number four seed for the upcoming Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Tournament.
Bridgewater struck first with a Holly Morgan trey to open the contest before the Maroons immediately responded with layups from Tatum McKee and Paxton Gwin to take a 4-3 lead with 18 and change to play in the opening frame.
Senior Jessica Mullen knocked in a three-pointer to put the Eagles back in front, but Gwin answered with another bucket to tie the game up at six points each with 17:06 to go in the first half.
Following the Gwin score, Mullen knocked in a jumper off of an assist from Morgan to open up a 7-0 Bridgewater spurt to put the Eagles in front 13-6 with 15:13 to play in the opening stanza. Mullen scored the first four points of the run, while Morgan capped things off with another trey.
Bridgewater ran its lead to as high as eight points, 16-8, off of a Cassidy Burkholder three before the Maroons used a big run to regain the lead in the latter part of the first frame.
With the Eagles owning an 18-11 lead off of a pair of Shannan Thorne free throws with 11:49 remaining in the opening half of play, Roanoke answered with a Kayla Lemke layup to open an 8-0 run. The Maroons capped off the run with a pair of Gwin free throws to take a 19-18 lead with 9:41 to play in the first half.
Senior Katelynn Hottinger ended the Roanoke run with a layup at the 7:14 mark to put Bridgewater back in front before a three pointer from sophomore Kelsie Floyd ran the Eagles' lead to four, 23-19, with 6:41 left in the opening half.
Bridgewater held on to its four-point lead as the clock went under five to play in the first before back-to-back Morgan treys put the Eagles up 10, 31-21, with 2:49 to go in the first stanza.
Over the final three minutes of the half, the Maroons outscored Bridgewater by three points as a Gwin layup finalized the scoring the first half with the Eagles owning a 33-26 lead at the break.
Bridgewater was stellar from beyond the arc in the first half, knocking in seven treys with Morgan converting on four of her five shots from long range. Gwin led all scorers in the first half with 14 points, while Morgan's 12 led the way for the Eagles.
Out of the intermission, the two teams traded scores before a pair of Gwin layups cut the Bridgewater lead to three at a 35-32 margin with 17:16 to play.
Bridgewater answered with layups from Morgan and Hottinger to push the lead back to seven which is where it would stay after a trey from Jessi Strom put the Eagles up 48-41 with 12:36 to play in the contest.
Hottinger landed a jumper and Thorne followed with a layup to extend the Bridgewater lead to double figures at a 52-41 margin with 11:11 remaining.
Roanoke drew the Bridgewater lead to seven off of a pair of free throws and a layup before the Eagles ran off five straight points to push the lead to 12 at a 57-45 margin with 8:16 left.
Lemke landed a jumper to bring the game to a 10-point differential, 57-47, before Morgan drilled her sixth three pointer of the contest to push the Bridgewater lead to a game high 13 points with 7:35 left.
After the Morgan trey, the Eagles went silent from the floor over the next three minutes as the Maroons used a 9-1 run to draw the game to a 61-56 score off of a McKee layup with 4:48 to go. Hankins netted five points during the run, while McKee added four.
Hottinger ended the Roanoke run with a layup but the Maroons answered right back with a Hankins layup to bring the score to 63-58 with 4:14 to play.
Roanoke tied the score up at 63 points each with 3:06 remaining off of a Kelsey Smith three and a pair of Gwin free throws before a Hottinger layup pushed Bridgewater back in front, 65-63.
With 1:43 left, Gwin hit a layup to tie the game up again, this time at 65 points each.
Mullen put the Eagles back in front with a layup with 57 ticks to play as the Eagles owned a 67-65 lead. Bridgewater called a timeout after the bucket.
Out of the stoppage, Mullen committed a foul and sent Gwin to the line, where the guard calmly sank a pair of free throws with 44 seconds left to tie the game up 67-67. Roanoke used a timeout after the free throws, giving the Eagles an opportunity to set the offense.
After the timeout and with the shot clock winding down, the Eagles regained the lead off of a Shelley jumper with 10 seconds to play. Bridgewater burned a pair of timeouts down the stretch run of the game and the Maroons had an opportunity at the end, but came up short as the Eagles returned home with a 69-67 win.
Morgan led the Eagles with a team-high 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting. The junior went 6-of-9 from long range as the Eagles finished the day with a 50% (10-of-20) effort from three-point land. Hottinger added a dozen points for the Eagles in the win.
Hottinger just missed the double-double after pulling down a game-high nine rebounds as the Eagles controlled the glass by a 39-to-28 margin.
Gwin finished the day with a game-high 31 points while McKee added 10 in the loss.
McKee pulled down seven boards to lead the Maroons on the glass.
Bridgewater, which earned the number four seed for the upcoming Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Tournament, will be back in action on Thursday at 3 p.m. at the Salem Civic Center against the winner of Monday evening's contest between fifth-seed Lynchburg and 12th-seed Randolph.