Eagles Use Big Third To Get Past EMU, 84-74

Jonae Guest has now broken her career high in points in four of the past five games. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Jonae Guest has now broken her career high in points in four of the past five games. (photo by Scott Eyre)

A bad stretch in the third period out-did a good start for EMU's basketball women, as they dropped a frustrating 84-74 decision at rival Bridgewater College Tuesday night.

The Royals lost their second straight, both on the road, as they fall to 9-6 overall and 4-3 in the ODAC. BC won their third straight conference game to improve to 10-6 and 3-4.

Eastern Mennonite gets back to Yoder Arena this weekend, hosting Hollins University on Saturday. Game time is 1:00pm.

The women were on top of their game from the start against Bridgewater, forcing four turnovers in the opening four minutes and streaking to a 10-4 lead. Lexi Deffenbaugh (Fishersville, Va./Wilson Memorial) canned a three point for a 15-6 cushion. Looking at EMU's zone, the Eagles answered with a trio of threes over the final two minutes to get within 19-17 at the first break.

BC had a short-lived lead in the second, before Jonae Guest (Dumfries, Va./Potomac) and Myneshia Walker (Freeman, Va./Brunswick) took over, scoring 16 of EMU's 20 points in the frame for a 39-31 margin at halftime.

The momentum continued early in the third, with Guest finding Chrissy Delawder (Broadway, Va./Broadway) in the right corner for an open three, giving the Royals a 46-34 lead at the 7:27 mark.

Bridgewater returned fire by clogging up the inside to stop EMU's offense. The Eagles then scored 10 unanswered points to get within two and trigger a timeout from the Royals.

BC's Jessica Lam added a pair of free throws to cap the 12-0 streak, tying the score at 46-46. Deffenbaugh hit a bucket for the Royals, but BC continued on their run, building the lead to 58-48. In all the Eagles had a 25-4 push to end the period, taking over a 59-50 lead.

Bridgewater scored first in the fourth, but Guest got the Royals going with an offensive putback for a three-point play. The women kept up their offensive proficiency, but couldn't get a stop on defense.

Trailing 69-57 with 5:55 to play, Eastern Mennonite turned on the heat. Chloe Roach (Leesburg, Va./Tuscarora) hit two free throws before getting a steal and assisting Jess Washington (Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge) on a lay-up. The Royals got within 70-63 when Delawder converted on a fastbreak with 3:40 to go before whistles slowed them down.

Roach and Walker both fouled out by the time there was 2:49 left on the clock. Guest chiseled the margin down to 76-70 with two tosses with 1:07 remaining, but that would be as close as they could get.

Bridgewater took advantage of their trips to the free throw line, scoring their final 17 points from the stripe on 18 tries. The Eagles finished 28-for-36 in free throws, with 31 of the attempts coming after halftime. EMU was 18-24 from the line.

Both teams shot around 38% from the floor, but BC made the difference in free throws and rebounding, where they grabbed 22 offensive boards for a 52-39 overall margin.

Eastern Mennonite's women did force 19 turnovers, picking out 14 steals. Deffenbaugh had a career best five steals to go with her 10 points. Walker added four picks and Tierra Cochraham (Alexandria, Va./Thomas A. Edison) had three.

Offensively, the star of the game was Guest, as EMU's 6-2 center shot 10-for-17 from the floor and set a new career high with 25 points. She also had six rebounds, including five offensive, and two blocks.

Washington added a double double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Lam led Bridgewater with 31 points and eight rebounds, finishing 15-16 from the free throw line. Briana Moore hit three triples and scored 16. Syndi Carey added 10 points, eight rebound and eight assists. Kaitlyn Lehan had six of BC's 11 blocks and led all players with 14 rebounds.

Coach Kevin Griffin said his team gave a great effort all 40 minutes: