By CHIS MARKHAM
Currently sitting at 12-6 (5-5 Conference), after their most recent game this Wednesday, the Eagles are staying right in the thick of the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) standings. Contributions from across the board, especially from the bench, have made the Eagles a force to be reckoned with, despite their underdog label.
Last Thursday, UMW tipped off against conference rival Southern Virginia University. The contest was closely matched in the early going, but when the game was knotted up at 21 points apiece, the Eagles jumped out to a 12-0 run to end the first half.
“We realized that we were playing down to the level of our competition, and we knew that we needed to step up our game offensively and defensively,” said freshmen Brianne Comden, starting center.
UMW carried that momentum into the second half, outscoring the Knights 40-17 in the game’s final 20 minutes to take the commanding victory. The Eagles bench overwhelmed the Knights’ 38-8.
The toughest task the Eagles faced the same week was a road game against York College, who is ranked no. 10 in the national poll.
Despite playing their best overall game of the season, the Eagles fell just short by a score of 61-58. York, who is undefeated this season, out rebounded UMW 43-28 and finished the game on an 11-2 run to steal the victory away from the Eagles.
Despite the loss, UMW is taking many positives away from the game.
“That was the best 40 minute game we’ve played all season as a team,” said Comden, who is the Eagles’ second leading scorer with 9.4 points per game and shooting nearly 42% from the field on the season. “It has lifted our confidence for the rest of the season.”
UMW was matched, or better, than the Spartans in almost every statistical category. The Eagles’ bench made a huge difference, outscoring York’s bench 19-4. Senior Sam Partonen led the Eagles with 15 points in the loss.
The Eagles rebounded very well, literally and figuratively, in Wednesday night’s game against the Frostburg Bobcats in an 89-60 rout of their conference foes.
Comden dropped a career high of 27 points, and Partonen dished out 14 assists to go along with her 14 points.
UMW’s bench proved once again why they are a key component of their offense, outscoring the Frostburg bench 32-20. The Eagles also worked the ball to perfection, racking up 28 assits to the Bobcats’ six.
Another positive the team is looking forward to is the fact that their eight remaining opponents are all teams that the Eagles have played earlier this season and that they are 4-3 against those opponents.
“The confidence we’ve gained from our game against York has helped our team chemistry and will help us succeed for the remainder of the season because we know what we need to fix and have the 13 players to do it,” Comden said.
The Eagles next tip-off will be a Saturday matinee at home against CAC powerhouse Marymount University at 1 p.m. Feb 1.
The Eagles next tip off will be a Saturday matinee at home against CAC powerhouse Marymount University at 1 p.m. on Feb 1.