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Bridgeport holds off Philip Barbour

by Jesse Skiles

CORRESPONDENT

PHILIPPI -- Bridgeport attained sole possession of second place in the Big 10 Conference, scoring an impressive 54-45 road victory over Philip Barbour on Wednesday.

The freshmen tandem of Lauren Gilbert and Brea Mentus continued to elevate their games, leading the way with a combined 34 points, six assists and six steals.

With Lewis County holding a firm grip on the league's top spot, the story has been the battle for second place between Bridgeport, Grafton and Philip Barbour

"We have been focusing on getting better shots on offense, and we were able to get that tonight," Bridgeport coach Dave Marshall said.

"Plus we did a good job of taking better care of the ball in the second half, and in the end, knocking down the critical shots when we had to."

The Colts had the young Indians with their backs against the wall, holding a 37-32 advantage at the 1:32 mark of the third quarter. After a timely 30-second timeout, the Indians embarked on a 21-3 run that carried a 53-40 advantage into the game's final minute. During this stretch, the Indian defense dominated, and Rachel Williams and Leah Snider took control of the defensive boards.

Before the final decisive run by Bridgeport, two teams battled closely. Philip Barbour led 9-7 after one quarter, but Bridgeport answered, grabbing a 21-15 lead with only :52 seconds left in the half. The Colts responded in kind with a 15-2 surge of their own that produced a 30-23 lead midway through the third quarter.

The lead was held by the Colts until the aforementioned Indians' final run. Mentus and Snider hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start the fourth quarter, giving the Indians a 43-37 lead they would never relinquish.

Gilbert collected 19 points, including four 3-pointers. Mentus had 15 points and team-highs of four assists and four steals. Snider had a team-high 11 rebounds and added seven points, followed by Williams with nine rebounds and eight points.

Gina Ware led the Colts with 10 points followed by Monica Hunter with nine, and Michelle Nicholson and Tiffany Thompson with eight each. Nicholson collected 11 rebounds, while Thompson added four assists.