Area briefs: Eagles split series with SU women

Posted: February 7, 2013

From Star staff reports

BRIDGEWATER — Host Bridgewater College salvaged a split of the women’s basketball season series with Shenandoah University by downing the Hornets 63-52 in Old Dominion Athletic Conference action Wednesday evening.

Shenandoah (10-12, 6-7 ODAC) was a 72-66 winner in the Winchester meeting with the two schools, but the Eagles (12-9, 9-4) answered back in the return matchup.

Bridgewater shot 49 percent from the field (25 for 51) to more than make up for an 11-rebound deficit and gain the split of the season series.

The Eagles led 26-17 at the break and expanded the lead to 23 points by the 8:24 mark of the second before the Hornets began to climb back into the contest.

SU scored 20 of the final 28 points of the contest, but ran out of time in attempting the comeback.

In the first half, the two teams traded the lead twice and were tied on two other occasions before Bridgewater, on the strength of an 8-0 run from the 9:18 to 6:06 marks, took the lead for good.

Shenandoah was able to cut its deficit to one point following an Imani Heggins layup at 4:08, but Bridgewater ended the half on another 8-0 run to take the nine-point lead into the break.

The Hornets would get no closer than nine points for the remainder of the contest.

Heggins led SU with 17 points, and senior Nicole Gilbertson had another double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Molly Shelley had 17, and Cassidy Burkholder 14 for the Eagles.

Men’s BASKETBALL

Eagles 70, Hornets 61

WINCHESTER — Visiting Bridgewater College kept Shenandoah University winless in ODAC men’s basketball play this season with a win Wednesday night at Shingleton Gymnasium.

Bridgewater (13-9, 7-6 ODAC) took a 42-26 lead into the halftime break and never looked back against SU (3-19, 0-13).

The Eagles shot an even 50 percent (16 for 32) in the opening stanza and had a 27-12 advantage on the glass to fuel the 16-point lead.

Bridgewater actually looked to take a 19-point lead into the break, but Shenandoah provided an omen of things to come as junior Bryce Mitchell canned a 3-pointer as the first half buzzer sounded to cut the home deficit to 16.

After the Eagles scored the initial bucket of the second half, SU reeled off the next 10 points to cut the deficit to eight, 44-36, with 17:15 remaining.

Bridgewater extended its advantage back to 13 before another Hornets run, this one 8-1 over a span of 2:12, cut the deficit to just six, 60-54, with 4:46 left.

Unfortunately for the Shingleton faithful, Bridgewater answered with the game’s next four points and 10 of the final 17 to coast home to the nine-point win.

Mitchell led Shenandoah with a co-game-high 17 points, and Jared Carithers added 10.

The Eagles had the same two high scores — Daniel McClain posted 17 points and Zach Hunter 10.

BC finished the game with a 57-32 rebounding edge, including 47-5 on the SU offensive end.

Boys’ Basketball

Colonels 59, Huskies 57

LEESBURG — James Wood took the lead with 1:30 left in regulation and held on for a non-district win over Tuscarora Wednesday.

The Colonels (9-12) got 21 points from Ryland Williams and 14 points from Camden Butler as they erased a five-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter.

Brett Lewin scored six points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the win.

COLLEGE SOFTBALL

SU picked 5th in ODAC

FOREST — Shenandoah University is picked fifth in the 2013 ODAC pre-season softball poll in voting results released Wednesday afternoon by the league office.

Shenandoah, which won one regular season and one tournament title in its final five seasons in the USA South, has 61 points in the poll to come in just behind fourth place Randolph-Macon in the pre-season rankings.

Virginia Wesleyan is the slight pre-season favorite in the 11-team race over Roanoke with seven first place votes and 96 points.

The Maroons had 94 points and the remaining four first place votes to place a solid second.

Votes are awarded on a 1-10 basis and teams cannot vote for themselves in the poll.

Bridgewater is the No. 3 pre-season selection, followed by R-MC and SU.

Shenandoah has a three-point cushion on its fellow hornets, Lynchburg, for fifth spot.

SU returns seven field position starters and two pitchers off of last season's 24-17 squad. Six returning players: Brittany Guepe, Jordan Wolford, Lauren McCabe, Heather Sink, Denise Mitchell and Morgan Coble, earned All-USA South accolades last season with Guepe being named to the first team as an outfielder.