EMU's basketball women again suffered through a first-quarter drought and it cost them in a 77-68 loss at rival Bridgewater on Wednesday.
The loss drops the Royals (12-11/7-8 ODAC) into a three-way tie with BC and Shenandoah for seventh place in the ODAC standings. Just one gave remains in the regular season, as the teams vie for the final home games in the ODAC Tournament First Round.
At 7-8, the trio sit one game behind sixth-place Washington and Lee at 8-7. Eastern Mennonite hosts last-place Hollins Saturday night at 7:00pm on Senior Recognition Day. Bridgewater plays at Randolph (2-13 ODAC) while Shenandoah heads to Washington and Lee, meaning the possibility exists of a massive four-way tie at sixth place.
The fifth through eighth seeds in the postseason tourney will host a game on Monday.
In EMU's first meeting with Bridgewater on Jan. 16, the Royals jumped to a 14-5 lead and rode it to a 72-67 win. This time, it was the Eagles who got out early.
BC struck a 14-2 run to blow open an 18-7 margin. A Lindsey Krisak (Alexandria, Va./Thomas A. Edison) three pointer got the women within 22-13 at the end of the opening frame, but the damage had been done. Eastern Mennonite shot just 23% in the first 10 minutes, compared to 56% for the Eagles. Krisak hit a pair of triples, but the rest of the team combined to shoot 1-for-11 from the floor.
Bridgewater made an early push in the second, building the margin to 29-14 less than two minutes in. The women finally got their defense in order and held BC scoreless for the next 6:30. Led by eight points from Brianna Zook (Harrisonburg, Va./Broadway), EMU scored the next 10 points to slice the deficit to 29-24. The Eagles still led at halftime, however, 37-27.
The Royals finally made their move late in the third, using a 7-0 run to get within 51-48 when Precious Waddy (Richmond, Va./Henrico) scored inside with 1:08 left. But Briana Moore picked out a steal on the women's next possession and ran the court for a layup to end the frame, bumping BC's lead back to 53-48 and returning the momentum to the home team.
EMU got back within three points two different times early in the fourth before a triple from Moore triggered a short run and rebuilt some space. A pair of Zook free throws got the women within 69-65, and another three ball from Krisak kept them within 73-68 with 41 seconds left, but the Eagles iced the game with 4-of-4 free throws.
Both teams shot a touch under 43% from the floor and around 40% from outside. The rivals even matched each other with 12 made free throws. The difference came in turnovers, where Eastern Mennonite committed twice as many, 14-7.
Zook had a career game with her first-ever double double, 20 points and 10 rebounds. The senior has been on fire in her final month, averaging 12.0 points and 7.3 rebounds in February's four games. Before that Zook had been averaging 4.7 points and 1.9 rebounds.
Krisak broke her career high with a 6-for-9 performance from three point range, scoring a season best 18 points. Waddy had another fine outing, tying or setting season highs with nine points and six assists. Myneshia Walker (Freeman, Va./Brunswick) was limited to six points, but added seven rebounds and five assists.
Moore led Bridgewater with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Madison Baum added 12 points and nine assists.