Men’s Basketball Secures a Home Victory against Randolph

The Eagles win their third consecutive game


Lamont Jones

To ensure he keeps possession for the Eagles while snatching a defensive rebound, junior Alec Topper uses the entirety of his wingspan. With 80 total, Topper is now second in rebounds for the Eagles on the season.

Gianni Maltese, Staff Writer

The men’s basketball team outlasted the Wildcats by a score of 73-71 on Jan. 11 thanks to Randolph’s missed jumpers to finish the contest.

The game placed them 3-2 in ODAC play overall, and the Eagles picked up another crucial win for the conference standings, moving them up to fifth place.

Junior Alec Topper topped Bridgewater College in both points scored and rebounds grabbed with 15 and six respectively. Sophomores Shod Smith and Landon Hawes also reached double digits with 13 and 12 points. 

The Eagles’ defense held up brilliantly as they held Wildcat senior Danny Bickey and junior Jordan Phillips-McLoyd to only 33 points and a combined 11 for 35 from the field.

Compared to the Wildcats’ 16.7% from beyond the arc, Bridgewater made 43.8% of their field goals, including 30% from long range.

“We knew they were an extremely good 3-point shooting team,” said sophomore Mikey Ayala. “The coaches did a fantastic job all week long getting the team ready for the game. We like our prospects if the 3-point line is removed. I considered that to be a task successfully executed.”

The Eagles have won six out of their seven last games, with their lone setback to St. Mary’s at the final horn on Dec. 30. As the Eagles were coming off of their all-time record-setting 91-point performance versus Lynchburg, the team continued to rely on shooting in crucial situations.

In the first minute, senior Liam Caswell made a jump shot that gave the Eagles the lead, but Bickey soon responded to tie the score. BC’s Topper made a 3-point play early on to give the Eagles the lead once again.

Prior to being stopped by a Smith 3-point play, Randolph went on a brief 5-0 run. With seven minutes remaining in the period, sophomore Joseph Crenshaw connected with Topper on the wing for a basket, extending the Eagles’ advantage to double digits at 28-18.

“A lot of guys provided big plays throughout the game that eventually led to a win,” said Ayala. “We have to work on extending leads when we have them and not letting the game be so close towards the end.”

The Wildcats reduced the deficit to two with nine minutes remaining in the contest.

Connor Ballou, a freshman, snapped BC’s three minute scoring drought by spotting an open Hawes for a 3-point shot. Ballou maintained his composure and hit a 3-pointer of his own for BC.

In the last seconds of the game during the inbound play, Randolph made an intentional foul, sending Topper to the line. The junior connected on the first shot but missed the second, allowing Randolph to grab the rebound. After driving down the court, Phillips-McLoyd attempted to hit the game-winning 3-pointer, but could not connect.

“I think our late game decision-making has been really good during this run, as well as knowing the scout,” said Topper. “I am having a lot of fun with this group of guys and hope to continue the success.”

The Eagles came out on top for a huge result in the ODAC standings after surviving Randolph’s Phillips-McLoyd last-ditch attempt. During the Eagles’ recent hot streak, the team’s last four games have ended in nail-biters, coming out with a record of 3-1 in those contests.

The Eagles are next set to play on Jan. 18 against Randolph-Macon in Ashland at 7 p.m.