By MADALYN CROWELL
The University of Mary Washington men’s basketball team suffered an 11-point road loss to nationally-ranked St. Mary’s College of Maryland last Saturday, Jan. 29. The Eagles rebounded from that loss to knock off Marymount University on Monday, Jan. 31, by a score of 75-64. The split of games puts the Eagles overall record at 13-6 and moved them to 7-4 against Capital Athletic Conference competition.
Against St. Mary’s, UMW’s defense was critical early, as they held the Seahawks without a point for more than six minutes to open the game. The Eagles got out to a 6-0 lead and held slim leads over St. Mary’s multiple times in the first half. However, the Seahawks offense gained momentum as the half wound down and led UMW 29-25 at intermission.
St. Mary’s carried their momentum into the second half as they busted out of halftime on an 11-0 run to push the lead to 15 points. The Eagles trimmed the Seahawks lead to as low as six points, but UMW was never able to regain the lead.
Top scorers in Saturday’s game were freshmen E.J. Willis and Bradley Riester, with 16 and 13 points respectively, and junior Tad Dickman who scored 12.
UMW started their makeup game against Marymount with a quick 8-0 run, but the host Saints were not deterred as they quickly responded before the deficit grew too large. At halftime, the Eagles were in the lead by a score of 36-30.
Marymount came out of the break strong, going on their own 8-0 run to begin the second half to take a 38-36 advantage, their first lead of the game.
UMW junior Ryan Farrar added a pair of three-pointers and junior Mike Harvey put up five more points to spark an 11-0 Eagles response run to retake the lead 49-40. Once Mary Washington retook the lead, they never relinquished it again en route to the 11-point win.
“It was a great team win top to bottom,” Farrar said. “The good thing with our team this year that’s different than past years is that anyone of our players can step up and make big plays at any time every game. This game it was Ryan Henderson and Mike Harvey that made the plays we needed to get the win.”
Harvey, a junior, was the high-scorer for the game with 22 points and found offensive support from fellow junior Ryan Henderson, who poured in 13 points.
Freshman Walt Smith was another key player and had a great all- around day, scoring nine points while adding six rebounds and six assists in the win over the Saints.
Though UMW is currently tied for third in the CAC standings, men’s basketball head coach Rod Wood said that this team still has roadblocks they have to face going forward.
“Our conference schedule is tough and any team can beat any other team, so every game is a challenge,” Wood said. “The team that comes ready to play and executes their game plan will win. The quicker [the players] learn that they can’t just show up and win and that they must prepare diligently every day, then they will get to the next level.”
“We have a really deep team, which makes us tough to play against,” Farrar said. “We’re happy for our win and looking to build off this to gain some momentum for our ultimate goal, which is the CAC Championship.”
The Eagles next opponent will be Salisbury University this Saturday at 4 p.m., when UMW takes on the Seagulls on their home court.