BRIDGEWATER, VA —
Bridgewater junior Ricky Easterling scored a game-high 25 points to lead the host Eagles to a 92-85 win over Frostburg State in the championship game of the Bridgewater College/Don Glick Tournament Sunday afternoon at Nininger Hall.
The Eagles, who won their sixth straight to improve to 7-2, avenged a 79-66 loss to the Bobcats in the title game of the FSU Tip-Off Tournament November 22. FSU fell to 5-5 on the year.
After blowing out Eastern Mennonite 86-65 in their first-round game Saturday, the Bobcats struggled to find the basket in the opening half against Bridgewater.
FSU took a quick 2-0 lead but then missed 17 of its next 18 shots over the next 10 minutes as the Eagles built a seemingly commanding 24-6 lead at the 8:44 mark.
Trailing 30-13 with 4:09 left, the Bobcats came to life with a stunning 15-0 run over the next 2:26.
Senior Myro Small (Berlin, Md./Stephen Decatur) powered the comeback by scoring 12 points, including the first 10 in a row.
Junior Jocara Knight (Laurel, Md./Laurel) added a three-pointer as FSU trimmed its deficit to 30-28 with 1:43 remaining before halftime.
Sophomore Steve Coursey (Ellicott City, Md./Howard) then sank a pair of free throws to make it a 34-33 contest with 14 ticks left before Bridgewater sophomore Clay Michael hit a jumper to give the Eagles a 36-33 lead at the break.
Bridgewater held FSU at bay through the opening moments of the second half, but FSU used consecutive three-pointers from junior Chris Vaughn (Manchester, Md./North Carroll), Knight and senior Ryan Grabill (Boonsboro, Md./Williamsport) to turn a 45-41 deficit into a 50-45 lead.
The Eagles pulled to within one, 52-51, at the 12:46 mark before Knight and Vaughn hit again from behind the arc to give the Bobcats a 58-51 lead.
However, Easterling hit consecutive baskets, senior Andrew Lacey sank a jumper and junior Ashby Tarkington hit a pair of free throws to put Bridgewater back in front, 59-58.
Coursey drained a free throw to pull FSU even again at 59, but Lacey nailed three three-pointers in a 16-3 run over the next 3:29 to give the Eagles a 75-62 advantage.
Vaughn and sophomore Jimmy Ward (Poolesville, Md./Poolesville) countered with back-to-back three's to bring the Bobcats to within 75-68 with 4:06 to play, but Easterling hit a pair of jumpers to help Bridgewater build an 83-70 cushion with 1:56 remaining.
FSU made it an 83-76 game with 1:35 left after a three-point play by Small and another three-pointer from Knight, but the Eagles hit 7-of-8 from the free throw line in the closing minute to seal the victory.
Small, who finished with 23 points, and Knight, who added a career-high 18 points, were both named to the All-Tournament Team. Vaughn scored 12 points, while Coursey had 10.
The Bobcats hit 12-of-29 from three-point range. Both numbers are the third-highest single-game totals in school history.
Lacey and Tarkington finished with 18 and 13 points, respectively, for Bridgewater, which shot just 19-of-34 from the free throw line.
FSU returns to action Wednesday when it visits Washington & Jefferson at 7:00 pm.
For further information on this release, contact:
Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303