The UMW womens’ basketball team remained undefeated in conference play with their 57-44 win over Gallaudet University on Monday night.
The Eagles started quick out of the gate as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but Gallaudet responded with a 9-0 run of their own. The first half went back and forth that way with runs by both teams, but UMW always managed to respond. The Eagles closed the door on the Bisons with a 10-0 run at the end of the half to go into the locker room with a 27-19 lead.
UMW never looked back after gaining the 8-point advantage as they never trailed in the second half. Gallaudet narrowed the Eagles lead on a couple of occasions, the closest margin being only a 3-point deficit with just under 11 minutes left in the game. But UMW did not fold, as they closed out the game with a 16-7 run to give them a 13-point victory and to keep their record unblemished in conference play.
Both teams struggled shooting-wise, with Mary Washington connecting on just 23 of 67 shot attempts to go 34 percent from the floor. The Eagles were decent from the free throw stripe as they connected on 69 percent (11-16) of their opportunities at the line.
Defensively UMW excelled as they limited Gallaudet to a mere 33 percent shooting night and forced the Bisons into 26 turnovers. The Lady Eagles’ also won the rebounding battle 42 to 36, including a staggering 20 offensive boards that are crucial to getting second chance shots. Freshman standout Carol Dye continued off of last week’s double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds on Monday.
Fouls were an issue as well, with both teams going into the penalty in each half.
It was a rough and gritty game, but the Eagles were able to prevail. “It was a tough game,” sophomore guard Katie Wimmer said. “We just had to keep playing hard.”
Wimmer was the Eagles’ leading scorer for the game with 12 points and she also added 4 rebounds. Sophomore forward Claire Brooks had 8 points and 7 boards, and sophomore guard Jenna McRae added 7 points and 5 rebounds.
“We showed we could play through adversity,” McRae said. “We struggled shooting-wise, but [we] still won.”
With this win, the Eagles improved to 10-0 in Capital Athletic Conference play and 15 and 3 overall. UMW may be seated atop the CAC standings now, but Coach Deena Applebury knows that the season is far from over.
“We need to maintain focus during every practice so we can continue improving and then take each game one at a time,” Applebury said. “We must not overlook anyone as we did earlier in the year with Shenandoah. Other than that loss, we have lost to two top 25 teams and beaten one top 5 team, so I am very happy with our overall performance considering our youth.”
Mary Washington played at home last night against Stevenson University, but the game started too late for the score to be included in this issue. The next game for the UMW women’s team will be a home bout at 1:00 p.m. Saturday against St. Mary’s College.