By MIKEY BARNES
The University of Mary Washington women’s basketball team completed a home sweep this weekend as they won the Hyatt Place Tipoff Tournament.
The opening tournament consisted of the season opening games for the UMW women’s team, and four universities competed in total. UMW hosted the tournament in the Anderson Center, showcasing visiting schools such as Widener University, York (N.Y) College and Virginia Wesleyan.
The tournament started with excitement, as Widener snuck away with a two-point victory over Virginia Wesleyan on a missed layup at the buzzer. The victory by Widener placed them in the championship game against the winner of the UMW vs. York game.
It became evident early to whom Widener would be playing in Sunday’s championship battle as UMW opened up on a 19-0 run to start the game. The run was led by senior Claire Haeuptle as she knocked down a pair of three-pointers along with scoring from six of her teammates during the stretch. Well displayed passing and shot taking helped UMW get out to a 46-14 lead at the half.
Following halftime performances by the UMW dance team and cheerleaders, the Eagles came back out and displayed similar success. After a 13-1 start in the early parts of the second half, the Eagles extended their lead to 59-15. The UMW lead would reach as high as 51 points and did not fall below 43 for the remainder of the game.
Haeuptle led the Eagles with 16 points on their way to an 88-40 route of York College. The 88 points scored by UMW ties the school record with the 2004-05 team for most points in a season opener. Alongside Haeuptle were great performances by senior Aubrey Howland, who put up 14 points and five rebounds, and freshman Taylor Barton, who scored eight points and led the team with nine boards.
The Eagles’ defense held York to a dismal 19.2 shooting percentage from the field. The outstanding play on both sides of the ball for UMW put them in the championship game against Widener.
Widener started the scoring for the championship game with a 2-0 lead, the only time for the entire game they were ahead. UMW then went on a 12-0 run led by multiple baskets from senior Caitlin Ciniero to grab a 12-2 lead. After continued success on offense and defense, the Eagles went into the half with a 20-point lead at 34-14.
The ladies of Widener proved stronger offensively in the second half, but it was not be enough as UMW held on and grabbed the 19-point victory and the Hyatt Place Tipoff Tournament title.
“It felt amazing. To have actual fans there, to win for them made it even better. It was like a dream come true,” Barton said.
Ciniero led the Eagles in the championship game with 10 points and five rebounds. Sophomore Brianne Comden added nine points and seven rebounds.
Barton, named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament, totaled 14 points and 19 rebounds over the two games.
“I was shocked that I was chosen. I am so honored by it,” said Barton, a freshman out of Baltimore, Maryland. “After the game, I found my parents crying because they were so proud of me, it made the feeling even better.”
Senior Aubrey Howland and freshman Kelsey Dean were also honored for the great play as they too were named to the all-tournament team.
The Eagles will travel to Annapolis, Maryland to take on Division I Navy on Thursday, Nov. 20. They will return home on Nov. 22 to take on Washington & Lee at 1 p.m. in the Anderson Center.