HARRISONBURG, Va. – Eastern Mennonite hit its foul shots down the stretch Tuesday night to turn back a Bridgewater comeback effort and defeat the Eagles, 72-67, in ODAC women's basketball action.
After the Eagles cut the deficit to three, 65-62, the Royals made 7-of-8 free throws in the final minute of play to clinch the victory.
The Royals led 35-28 at the break as the hosts controlled the boards and took advantge of numeroust trips to the free throw line. EMU held a 27-19 edge on the glass and made 9-of-14 free throws while the Eagles took just seven foul shots in the first two quarters.
EMU forward Jess Washington posted a double-double by halftime, scoring 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
The Eagles stayed within striking distance by cashing in from long range. The Eagles missed their first eight 3-point shots before Briana Moore hit two from beyond the arc and Rebecca Harvey added one – all late in the second quarter.
The Royals led by as many as 13 points in the third quarter, but the Eagles rallied and trailed by just six points, 50-44, at the end of the third quarter.
The Eagles cut the margin to three points, 65-62, when Nina Novosel took a pass from Harvey and knocked down a short jumper along the left baseline with 1:19 left in the game. The Royals put the game away at the line, hitting 7-of-8 foul shots in the final minute to hold off the Eagles.
Harvey led the Eagles with a season-high 22 points. Moore scored 12 points and Jessalyn Monday added 10. Madison Baum scored 10 points and dished out six assists while Sydni Carey added eight points along with four assists.
EMU held a 50-35 edge on the boards, including 20 rebounds at the offensive end. The Royals made 24-of-33 foul shots compared to the Eagles 15-of-19 effort at the line. Washington led the Royals with a huge night, finishing with 21 points and 20 rebounds.
Bridgewater is now 7-8 overall and 3-4 in the ODAC while EMU improves to 10-5, 5-2 in the conference.
The Eagles are back in action Saturday afternoon when they host Roanoke College.