DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Junior guard Briana Moore (Waynesboro, Va.) scored 17 points and senior center Kaitlyn Lehan (Virginia Beach, Fla.) added 16 to lead the Bridgewater College (Va.) women's basketball team to a 57-52 victory over Bridgewater State University on Friday at the Land of Magic Classic in Dayton Beach, Florida.
Moore, who also grabbed four rebounds, converted 5 of 9 field goal attempts including 2-for-3 from behind the arc. She also went 5-for-6 at the free throw line.
Lehan knocked down 8 of 17 field goals and notched eight rebounds (five offensive) and a pair of blocked shots.
Freshman forward Destiny Fitzgerald (Medford, Mass.) paced the Bears with 20 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots in 28 minutes off the bench. Fitzgerald connected on 9 of 13 field goal attempts and three of her seven boards came off the offensive glass.
Junior guard Sara DaSilva (Chelmsford, Mass.) added 12 points, four rebounds and four assists for Bridgewater State, while senior forward Rhiana Page (Brookline, Mass.) checked in with ten points, six caroms (three offensive), three assists and a block.
In a game which featured three ties and ten lead changes, the Eagles (5-5) opened up a ten-point lead midway through the fourth quarter and held on down the stretch to come away with the win over the Bears (3-8).
Bridgewater made just 7-of-35 shots in the first half against Bridgewater State and trailed by one, 22-21, at the break.
The Eagles found their touch in the third quarter, making 50 percent of their shots, to take the lead. Bridgewater hit its first three shots of the second half to go on top 28-24. Freshman guard Madison Baum (Chester, Va.) and Lehan converted layups to put the Eagles ahead 25-22. After sophomore forward Kayla Carter (Beverly, Mass.) scored for the Bears, Moore tallied from long range to give the Eagles a 28-24 lead.
The Eagles maintained the lead until the 2:53 mark of the third when senior guard Megan Ianiro (Ashland, Mass.) hit a jumper to push the Bears out front, 36-35. Bridgewater regained the lead on a layup by Lehan before a jumper by junior guard Sydni Carey (Colonial Beach, Va.) put the Eagles lead at three, 39-36, entering the fourth quarter.
Midway through the final period, the Eagles led by five, 47-42. Bridgewater then reeled off five straight points to take a ten-point lead with 4:20 remaining. Moore hit two free throws and, following a missed shot by the Bears, junior forward Rebecca Harvey (Locust Grove, Va.) knocked down a three-pointer, making the score 52-42.
The Bears refused to wilt and eventually trimmed the deficit to just two points with 19 seconds left. Bridgewater went more than three minutes without scoring as the Bears chipped away at the deficit. Fitzgerald and DaSilva each scored to pull Bridgewater State to within 52-46 with 3:20 left on the clock. Fitzgerald scored again before a bucket inside by Lehan broke the Bridgewater dry spell and put the Eagles up 54-48 with 1:17 left. DaSilva scored to slice the margin to four before a steal and layup by Fitzgerald made it a two-point game, 54-52, with 19 seconds remaining.
The Bears, however, needed to foul three times to finally put the Eagles in the bonus with just nine seconds showing on the scoreboard. Moore calmly sank both free throws to push the lead to four, 56-52. The Bears turned the ball over and fouled Moore once again and this time she made 1-of-2 free throws for the final 57-52 margin of victory.
Baum dished out a game-high seven assists and pulled down a game-best ten rebounds to go along with a pair of steals.
Bridgewater shot just 32% (21-66) for the game and went 4-for-13 (31%) from three-point range and 11-for-16 (69%) at the charity stripe (5-for-6 in the fourth quarter).
The Eagles finished with a decided 17-7 advantage on the offensive boards and held an 18-6 edge in points off turnovers. They also forced 17 BSU turnovers and committed just ten.
Bridgewater State shot 44% (24-54) for the game, but went 0-for-6 from behind the arc.
In upcoming action, the Bears entertain non-conference foe UMass Boston next Thursday evening at 5:30. The Eagles travel to Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) rival Virginia Wesleyan University next Wednesday night for a seven o'clock game with the Marlins.