Defense Key in UMW WIN
The Mary Washington women’s basketball team continued their streak of dominance defeating St. Mary’s College of Maryland on Saturday, Jan. 28.
Senior guards Katie Wimmer and Jenna McRae finished with 13 and 17 points, respectively. Freshman forward Aubrey Howland had an impressive outing off the bench, scoring 10 points and grabbing seven rebounds.
The key for the Eagles was their stringent defense which held the Seahawks to just 26.8 percent from the field as they prevailed 66-48, winning their 20th game in as many attempts.
“Defense is our game,” Head Coach Deena Applebury said.
She explained the importance of being able to adjust, when the game doesn’t always go as planned. “We started a little sluggish but picked it up in the second half and made necessary adjustments,” Applebury said.
The Eagles only led by two points at halftime on Saturday, but they outscored the Seahawks by 16 in the second half, eight of which came from junior center Carol Dye.
Their success is gaining national attention. Applebury was recently named coach of the month by Division III news. They have also been featured by NCAA.com, which chronicled their season and revealed Applebury’s key to success. The article further explains how defense is so important to the Eagles squad.
“Everybody wants to score but not everybody wants to play defense,” Applebury said, “my teams are very disciplined and understand the importance of defense.”
This team is special and has the potential to go a long way. The banners in the Anderson Center are a reminder of the success women’s basketball teams have experienced in the past. The last time the team was this successful was the 2006-2007 season, where they finished 31-3, coming in third in the national standings.
They are currently ranked ninth in the nation, yet are behind four teams who have less wins and more losses.
The team has five games remaining in their regular season schedule, all against teams they have previously defeated. Their toughest matchup will be at York College of Pennsylvania. The Spartans are 16-3 on the year and lost to UMW earlier this season 59-42. The loss was the smallest margin of victory for the Eagles against all CAC foes.
The Eagles are just looking at the next game and not reminiscing about the previous 20.
“Teams are going to come out to beat us because they have nothing to loose,” Applebury said. “Teams are going to bring their best, we have to be ready to play each day.”