SU roundup: Hornets crush Hollins in women’s hoops

ROANOKE — The Shenandoah University women’s basketball team opened up its 2014-15 Old Dominion Athletic Conference slate with a 74-37 victory at Hollins on Wednesday.

Shenandoah (5-1, 1-0 ODAC) scored the first five points of the game and 15 of the first 20 to take a lead it would not relinquish over Hollins (2-4, 0-2).

SU first pushed its advantage into double digits thanks to a Sarah Dixon 3-pointer at 11:08 of the first and kept it there for the remainder of the contest.

Dixon’s 3-ball was one of four that coach Melissa Smeltzer-Kraft’s women hit in the initial 10:19 of the contest.

Shenandoah finished its night 5 of 9 from behind the arc after making 4 of 6 in the first half.

Dixon’s ‘3’ also started a 14-3 run over a span of 7:12 that pushed the advantage out to a half-high 18 points.

The second half brought more of the same with SU outscoring its hosts 15-8 in the first seven minutes to take a 47-21 lead with 13:00 minutes to play.

The lead never fell below 23 points the rest of the way and Shenandoah scored 16 of the game’s final 20 points.

Eleven of the 12 women who saw action in the contest put their names in the scoring column with Holly Chittenden leading the way with 15 points and a season-high 18 rebounds.

Ashley McGhee, Kirstyn Arcata and Olivia Callan had 10 points each.

SU won the battle of the boards 39-28.

Shenandoah continues this road trip on Saturday at Lynchburg.

Men’s basketball

BRIDGEWATER — Host Bridgewater College built a big first half lead on its way to a 73-64 men’s basketball victory over Shenandoah Wednesday evening in the ODAC opener for both schools.

The Eagles (2-2, 1-0 ODAC) built a 36-22 halftime lead only to see SU (1-5, 0-1) claw back into it with a strong second half start.

The Hornets scored the initial six points of the second and 17 of the first 26 to cut the deficit to six, 45-39, with 11:15 left.

Coach Rob Pryor’s club had been as close as four points before Bridgewater answered the Shenandoah run.

Trailing by just four, 41-37, following a Jared Carithers jumper, the Hornets saw their hosts score eight of the game’s next 10 points to take a 49-39 lead with 9:33 remaining.

Shenandoah was able to answer with a 7-0 run of its own to cut the deficit to three, 49-46, with 7:14 left.

Bridgewater then effectively sealed the contest with a 13-2 spurt to push its advantage to 12 points with 3:43 remaining.

SU would get no closer than seven points the rest of the way.

Shenandoah, which shot just 27 percent (8 of 30) in the first half, ended up shooting 39 percent after a 17 of 35 (49 percent) performance in the second half.

Carithers, the leading scorer in the ODAC, paced the visitors with a game-high 25 points.

Xavier Alston had a team-high 11 rebounds for SU.

The Eagles had a slight, 46-42, advantage on the glass, with Ed Reddick’s 16 leading the way.

Reddick had 14 defensive rebounds to match the Hornets offensive rebound total.

The men host Randolph on Saturday in a 2 p.m. ODAC contest.

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