Eagles' Willi Gets 300th Career Victory
Mullen Scores Career-High 34 in Milestone Win
BRIDGEWATER, Va. --- Behind a career-high 34
points from junior Jessica Mullen, the Bridgewater College Eagles
held off a second-half Southern Virginia rally to earn an 80-63
victory over the visiting Knights. The win marked Eagles head coach
Jean Willi's 300th career victory.
Willi becomes the fourth coach in ODAC women’s basketball history to eclipse the 300 win plateau, joining fellow active coaches Susan Dunagan (582-229) from Roanoke College and Randolph-Macon College’s Carroll LaHaye (497-286), as well as former Emory & Henry College mentor Joy Scruggs (384-319). Willi currently boasts a 300-118 overall record (.717 winning pct.), which ranks fourth in conference history.
Bridgewater opened the game on a 15-0 run over the game's first four minutes as the Eagles knocked down their first six shots to put the Knights in a 15-point hole with 15:46 to play. Mullen tallied 11 of Bridgewater's first 15 points of the game.
Southern Virginia ended the Eagles early run with a Cara Joyner layup before freshman Shannan Thorne answered with a jumper in the lane to put the Eagles up 17-2 with 14:56 remaining in the first stanza.
Following the Thorne bucket, Southern Virginia used a 10-2 run over the next four-and-a-half minutes to close to within single digits at a 19-12 margin with 11:53 to play.
Bridgewater answered in a big way as the Eagles offense ended the first half on a 21-5 run to take a 40-17 lead into the locker room.
The Eagles owned a 20-to-6 advantage in the paint over the first 20 minutes and forced 14 Knights miscues along the way.
Both teams traded scores over the first 10 minutes of the second half before Southern Virginia's full-court press finally wore the Eagles down as the Knights drew to within 13 at a 63-50 tally with 6:55 to play.
After the Nicole Baker trey cut the Eagles lead to 13, Bridgewater responded with a Mullen jumper and a Thorne layup to bring the lead back to 17 with five and change remaining.
Southern Virginia was able to get the Eagles' lead back to 13 on two more occasions before the Eagles eventually pulled away to an 80-63 victory over the Knights behind solid shooting from the charity stripe.
Bridgewater committed 20 turnovers in a sloppy second half, while the Knights netted 46 points in the final 20 minutes of play.
Mullen went 14-of-22 from the field, including a 3-of-6 performance from beyond the arc to post a career-high 34 points. The junior also chipped in six rebounds and a team-high four steals in the win.
Senior Jenny Logan just missed a double-double, netting 13 points to go along with nine assists, while sophomore Holly Morgan rounded out the Eagles' scorers in double figures with 10. Logan's nine assists marks a new career high for the Luray, Va. native.
Junior Katelynn Hottinger paced the Eagles on the glass with seven rebounds as the Eagles out rebounded Southern Virginia by a 45-40 margin.
Knights guard Alli Winters posted 14 points to lead three Southern Virginia scorers in double figures.
Bridgewater shot at a blistering 55% clip on the evening to outpace Southern Virginia as it struggled to a 28% performance from the field. The Eagles shot a scorching 12-of-19 (63.2%) in the second half.
The Eagles are off for a month before getting back to the hardwood on January 3 against Roanoke. Action is set for a 7:00 p.m. start.
This release is courtesy of the Bridgewater College sports information department.