BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Zach Hunter's three-pointer with 2:27 left in regulation broke a 69-69 tie and lifted Bridgewater College to a 78-75 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) basketball win over Guilford College Saturday afternoon.
Despite playing without leading scorer Josh Pittman (flu), the Quakers (17-8, 9-7 ODAC) overcame a 12-point first-half deficit and took a 69-66 lead with less than five minutes to play. Sophomore Matt McCarthy led Guilford's charge by scoring 22 of his game- and career-high 30 points in the second half. His trifecta with five minutes to play gave the Quakers a 67-66 edge before teammate Will Freeman's basket gave Guilford its largest lead of the game.
The teams traded possessions before Tavis Stapleton drilled his fourth three-pointer, which tied the score for the seventh and final time at 69-69. After a McCarthy miss at the other end, Stapleton scored with 1:45 left to open a 74-69 Eagles edge.
Hunter and Ed Reddick sandwiched free throws around McCarthy's seventh and final three of the game before Guilford's Jared Hinton connected from long range to make it a 78-75 with 28 seconds remaining. The Quakers fouled Hunter again and this time the freshman missed the one-and-one opportunity, which gave Guilford one more shot. The Quakers' Travis Tracy got off a three-pointer with seven seconds left, which rimmed out and preserved the Eagles' second win over Guilford in three tries.
Stapleton shot 10-of-15 from the floor and finished with a team-high 26 points, 17 in the second half. Reddick tallied 19 points, 14 in the second half, and led Bridgewater with seven rebounds. The pair combined for 31 of the Eagles' 44 second-half points. Bridgewater connected on nearly 51 percent of its shots from the floor, including 11-of-23 three-pointers (47.8%).
Guilford's McCarthy bested his previous career high of 25 points set in the Feb. 15 home win over Emory & Henry College. The guard matched his personal best with seven three-pointers and also collected four rebounds and three steals. Will Freeman scored 11 points off the bench and Guilford's Jake Hopkins had eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Guilford will host an opening-round ODAC Tournament game Tuesday (2/19) at 7:00 p.m. The complete 12-team tournament pairings will be announced by the ODAC office Saturday night.