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Monday, May 16, 2022
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Bridgewater brings healing campus together


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From a Bridgewater news release.

Although the final score did not side with the Eagles, the Bridgewater College men’s basketball team brought a hurting and healing community together on Tuesday night in Nininger Hall.

Traditionally, postgame recaps include the need to know information about a contest. Some are more in depth than others, potentially recalling the dramatic final minutes, giving praise to top players, noting important stat lines or reliving the excitement, and sometimes disappointment, of the team’s performance. This recap will cover those things. But in the end, tonight was bigger than basketball.

16 young men took the floor exactly a week after their worlds were shaken. One week ago, the Bridgewater community experienced unspeakable tragedy. Two members of the BC family were senselessly and violently taken from us. Officer John Painter and Officer JJ Jefferson were incredible supporters of all Eagles and in the end gave their lives so we could continue to have experiences like tonight. A week ago, those 16 young men sheltered in places they gathered for pregame rituals tonight. It’s fitting that the one thing that brought these 16 young men together in first place was the very thing to unite the campus community this evening.

Prior to tipoff, Bridgewater College Campus Police and Safety were honored amid a packed Nininger Hall. The applause and gratitude could have lasted hours. Their bravery allowed there to be a basketball game in Bridgewater tonight. It’s difficult to describe the emotions of this past week, the emotions the Bridgewater College men’s basketball team and staff experienced, the emotions all 22 Bridgewater College athletic teams will soon face as they compete for the first time following senseless tragedy. But as we saw tonight, there is nothing the BC Strong community cannot overcome.

Washington & Lee controlled the contest from start to finish, holding the Eagles to a 36.6% field goal percentage. The rebounding battle was tight as the Generals only edged Bridgewater by one board, 38-37. Bridgewater was able to create 25 points off of 16 W&L turnovers but ultimately fell 84-66 to the visiting Generals.

Rookie Shod Smith led Bridgewater with 17 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Andy Pack posted 16 points and four rebounds. Aaron Oates contributed 12 points with seven boards. Alec Topper was the fourth Bridgewater player in double digits with 11 points to go with eight rebounds.

Bridgewater will return to action on Thursday, February 10, when they welcome No. 1 Randolph-Macon to Nininger Hall. Action is set for 7:30 pm

As the entire Bridgewater Community continues to heal, do not forget about these 16 young men. Do not forget about each and every student, faculty and staff member at Bridgewater College. Do not forget about the families of those lost. Most importantly, never forget the undeniable bravery of Officer Painter and Officer Jefferson.



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