BY NICK NELSON
On a night that saw three seniors honored for their time and accomplishments with the women’s basketball team, the squad beat Stevenson University 60-26 Saturday for their twentieth win of the season.
The win closed out the regular season for the Eagles, and marked the fifth consecutive season that the team notched twenty wins in the regular season. The Eagles have achieved 23, 29, 31, 28 and 20 wins respectively from 2004-2009. The seniors have achieved a win-loss total of 108-12 with their four years on the team.
The three seniors on the team were guards Kaitie Clarkin and Katy Larson, and forward Ashton Mitchell.
Saturday’s game also highlighted the performance of younger players, as the top three scorers were all freshmen. Guards Katie Wimmer and Jenna MacRae scored eleven and ten points respectively, while guard Ashley Warhurst came off the bench to lead all scorers with 13 points in eighteen minutes of play.
However, Coach Deena Applebury was quick to explain that the effort of the seniors was vital to the success of the team not just this season, but their entire career.
“This was such an emotional day for [the seniors],” Applebury said. “They’ve been an instrumental part of this team, and this was such a great win for them.”
Mary Washington played strong throughout the game, though they struggled from the field in the first half, shooting at a rate of 38 percent but leading 26-16. They turned on both the offense and defense in the second half, hitting five of ten three-pointers and nine of 15 free throws. Stevenson was held to 17 percent shooting in the game, connecting on only one of 20 shots in the second half.
The Stevenson Mustangs posted up evenly on the boards, matching the Eagles at 39 rebounds each. However, Mary Washington dominated with their passes, picking up 15 assists to Stevenson’s one.
Applebury credited the strong win to a complete team effort by the Eagles on both sides of the ball.
“We just played team defense out there,” Applebury said. “[The team has] played well all season and they have great chemistry.”
Looking forward, Applebury is optimistic about her team’s chances in the Capital Athletic Conference tournament, which began on Tuesday with a game against St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Mary Washington was victorious in another big win, downing St. Mary’s 66-34.
“When we’re consistent, we’re unbeatable and we look great,” Applebury said. “But we have some lapses that we’ll need to clean up.”
In Tuesday’s game, Mary Washington out-rebounded St. Mary’s by a margin of 48-36. The defense from Saturday’s game spilled over into Tuesday’s matchup, as the Eagles outshot the St. Mary’s Seahawks by 18 percent, at a margin of 42 to 24 percent.
The Eagles found themselves making their own defense as well, achieving nine steals and six blocks, as well as seventeen assists. The Seahawks were held to four steals, zero blocks and six assists. The Eagles shot ten for 15 from the free throw line, while the Seahawks were a perfect three for three from the charity stripe.
Scoring was led by McRae, who dished out 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds in 22 minutes of play. Bethany Townsend led the Seahawks with eleven points, six rebounds and a steal in the losing effort.
Three pointers were at a premium for both sides. Mary Washington shot four for 15, while St. Mary’s shot a paltry two for 14.
Mary Washington’s next game will be in the semifinals of the Conference championship, where they will face second-seeded Marymount University, tonight at 7 p.m. at Goolrick Gymnasium.