Bridgewater Downs Roanoke In ODAC Opener, 74-55

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BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Bridgewater College jumped out to a quick 6-1 lead Tuesday and never trailed in a 74-55 victory over Roanoke College in the ODAC opener for both teams.

Bridgewater is now 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the ODAC while the Maroons drop to 2-1, 0-1 in the conference.

Keonte Dennis knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner to put the Eagles on the board before John Caldwell answered with 1-of-2 foul shots for Roanoke. Joe Lewis then scored from 3-point range to put Bridgewater on top 6-1 with 17:52 left in the opening half.

After Romello Crowell hit a 3-pointer to put the Eagles up 13-7, Josh Freund scored from inside to pull Roanoke to within 13-9.

Bridgewater then went on a 10-5 run to lead by nine. Bridgewater's Efe Balfour scored from inside for the Eagles, but Caldwell hit a 3-pointer to slice the BC lead to 15-12. Essex Thompson worked inside for a bucket in traffic and Kevin Saylor hit from 3-point land, giving the Eagles a 20-12 lead with 9:33 left in the half.

Roanoke's Freund scored from in close, but Jesse Case continued Bridgewater's hot shooting from beyond the arc as his 3-ball gave the Eagles a 23-14 lead with 8:07 on the first-half clock.

The Maroons worked the margin down to five, 26-21, before a 7-0 run to push the Eagles lead to double figures. Bryce Boggs worked inside and converted a three-point play and Case followed with a rare four-point play, putting the Eagles up 33-21 with 1:18 left in the half.

CJ Miles made two free throws for the Maroons, but Lewis worked inside for a bucket with 28 seconds left in the half, giving the Eagles a 35-23 lead at the break.

Bridgewater controlled play in the second half as the lead never dipped into single digits.

A layup by Joey Miller cut the Eagles lead to 44-34 with 13:08 left, but the Eagles scored the next six points to lead by 16. Saylor knocked down a 3-pointer and Case drove the lane and converted a three-point play for a 50-34 Eagles' lead at the 12:26 mark.

Bridgewater continued to build its margin and a layup by Balfour with 6:59 remaining game the Eagles their biggest lead of the night, 66-46.

Case hit 5-of-12 shots from beyond the arc to lead the Eagles with 21 points. Boggs added 19 points and Saylor scored 10. Freund led the Maroons with 19 points and Miles finished with 11.

The rebounding battle was dead even at 34 apiece. Dennis pulled down seven to lead the Eagles and Freund grabbed seven for the Maroons.

Bridgewater shot 43.9 percent from the floor, making 25-of-57 shots. Roanoke struggled from the field, making just 16-of-45 shots for 35.6 percent. Three-point shooting gave the Eagles a big edge. Bridgewater made 11-of-28 from beyond the arc while Roanoke hit just 2-of-11.

The Eagles return to action Sunday afternoon when they host William Peace. Game time is 2:00 p.m.