By MONICA OWENS
The University of Mary Washington had more than a victory to celebrate on Tuesday as they exited the court in Goolrick Gymnasium.
Senior Mike Lee shot his fifteen-hundredth point during the game. He is the third player in the history of Mary Washington to achieve this accomplishment.
Lee’s teammate, Senior Justin Baker also set a school record, shooting his one-thousandth point during the game. He is the fourteenth UMW player to reach this milestone.
Head Coach Rod Wood is proud of his players’s extraordinary perfomances.
“[It’s a] great accomplishment and [Baker] did it in his third year of playing,” he said.
As for Lee, he is equally pleased.
“Only three people in history who have ever done that and that was a great milestone for him.”
Baker, who hopes to continue playing for the Eagles while he attends grad school during the 2007-2008 season, is excited about this achievement and hopes to extend his record further.
The Eagles trailed throughout most of Tuesday’s first half, gaining their first lead of 35-34 with 13:30 remaining on a layup by freshman Kevin Kitching.
With 9:14 left on the clock, the Sea Gulls regained their lead and held it until the final four seconds of the game.
With 1:03 remaining and the Eagles trailing, 56-53, Justin Baker stole the ball and scored a layup to cut the deficit to one.
Although the game came down to the very last minute, Senior Mike Lee was never questioned that they were going to win.
“I am always confident in my teammates,” said Lee. “I have never thought the game is over ‘till the time runs out.”
The Eagles endered the secord quarter determined to take back their lead. Quick thinking and a turnover with just 48 seconds remaining gave UMW the upper hand and clenched them the game. Junior Jon Pierce’s final free throws, coupled with a blocked shot as the buzzer sounded clenched the game for the Eagle men, who won by a single point 57-56.
Senior A.J. Fitzgerald expresses his enthusiasm for the team’s win.
“It is always good to get a win, loosing kind of gets contagious sometimes, and it was nice to get another one under the belt,” he said.
According to Fitzgerald, it was not of question of whether or not they could do it, but that they had to win.
“Tonight we saw things we can do offensively, we can control the defense on our offensive side which we have been working on and hopefully we are going to click really nicely in the conference.”
Despite his acchompshment, Lee is more focused on the challenge ahead—the CAC conference and tournament.
“It’s a great feeling to have under my belt but I am more worried about conference,” he said. “It was just a great accomplishment, and I pretty much attribute that to my teammates and my coach. It was great, especially with a win.”
“[I’m] putting that milestone behind me. Now we can go forth and continue to try to win.”
The win which brought the team out of a three game loosing streak was just another reason for Wood to celebrate.
“I felt great about the win…loosing three games straight in conference with two of them in the last seconds of the game, we needed something like that.”