Bridgewater, Va. – On Wed. night, the Bridgewater men’s basketball team fell 80-67 at home against the Royals of Eastern Mennonite University. Because of the loss, the Eagles fell to 6-13 overall and 2-8 in ODAC competition, while the Royals improved to 4-15 overall and 2-8 in the ODAC.
For EMU, junior point guard Tim Jones (27 points), junior guard Tie Evans (16), junior forward DJ Hill (14) and junior guard Michael Williams (10) scored a total of 67 points, matching Bridgewater’s total score. The Eagles were led by senior guard Chandler Murray, with 22 points. He was helped by senior forward Davrion Grier, who had 17 points and seven rebounds, and junior guard Monte Simpkins, who had 12 points and eight rebounds.
EMU won every statistical category except for turnovers, points off turnovers, and bench points. The Royals shot 53.6% from the field compared to 43.6% from Bridgewater. EMU shot 50% from three point range, whereas the Eagles struggled as they shot 33.3%. The Eagles were out-rebounded 39-25.
The Royals started the game on an 11-6 run, led by five points from Jones. Then, the Eagles went on a 12-0 run to take an 18-11 lead with 11:46 left in the half. Simpkins had a layup and a three to account for five of those 12 points. Not to be outdone, EMU responded with a 30-9 run to take a 41-27 lead, a lead they would not give up for the rest of the game.
The Eagles would make one last major run. Led by two three pointers, a layup, and three free throws from Murray, the Eagles went on a 15-8 run to cut the deficit to 49-42 with 14:53 remaining. In the next 59 seconds, however, two turnovers from Murray and senior guard TJ Turner led to two fastbreak points for EMU to push the lead to 11. A three pointer from sophomore guard Will Bowser would make the score 62-53 with 8:56 left, but Bridgewater could get no closer, and would fall 80-67.
“There’s a long list of things we need to fix, and that’s been clear to me all year,” said head coach Steve Enright.
With the loss, which was the Eagles’ sixth in a row, Bridgewater clinched their ninth losing season in the last eleven years.