EMU's basketball women held a 33-31 lead over ODAC-leading Bridgewater Wednesday night on the road, but the war of attrition went BC's way. With both of their leading scorers fouled out by the end of the game, the Royals lost 70-57.
Eastern Mennonite out-shot their hosts 36% to 30%, but they also couldn't keep the aggressive Eagles off the glass. Bridgewater grabbed 23 offensive rebounds and had a 61-42 advantage overall.
In general, the Royals handled the pressure from BC. The women trailed by as many as seven in the first quarter before controlling the second. Chrissy Delawder (Broadway, Va./Broadway) hit a triple followed by a layup to erase the deficit, tying the score at 20-20.
A late spurt gave EMU a 33-31 lead at halftime.
The third quarter turned into a slugfest as the teams combined for 20 fouls and 22 free throw attempts. Bridgewater scored the final four of the frame for a 52-47 margin.
The five-point margin wasn't as big as was the foul situation. Between the two teams, five players had four fouls, and four more had three. As the game played out, the Eagles' deep bench gave them an edge.
The Royals took a big hit just nine seconds into the fourth quarter when Delawder picked up her fifth foul and went to the bench.
With Bridgewater slowly extending the lead, Tiffany Carey (Bedford, Va./Jefferson Forest) converted a three-point play to cut the margin to 59-50. But the flow had gotten away from EMU as the home team scored the next seven for their biggest lead at 66-53. The Eagles carried on to the 70-57 final.
Each team was whistled for 28 fouls, but BC made better use of their free throws. The Eagles were 20-of-28 from the stripe while EMU was 13-of-25.
Despite missing the final quarter, Delawder led the Royals with 14 points and seven rebounds. Jade Payton (Berryville, Va./Clarke County) scored 12 with six rebounds before fouling out with two minutes to play. Emily McCombs (Culpeper, Va./Eastern View) added nine and five off the bench. Lexi Deffenbaugh (Fishersville, Va./Wilson Memorial) led all players with five assists.
Freshman Jasmyn Pierce led Bridgewater with 16 points off the bench while Madison Baum scored 15. Ahlia Moone had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Royals return to Yoder Arena this Saturday, hosting Roanoke College at 2:00pm.