By SAM MCCLINTOCK
The University of Mary Washington basketball teams hosted conference rival Salisbury in an action-packed doubleheader last Saturday, Feb. 8.
The Lady Eagles began the action with a double overtime thriller that left UMW on the short end of an 84-79 score.
Senior Sam Partonen lead the Eagles in scoring with 17 points, junior Aubrey Howland had a double double with 13 points and 18 boards; senior Aby Diop also had a double double, scoring 15 points and collecting 15 rebounds.
Salisbury held an early five point lead before the Eagles went on a run to gain a 19-18 lead with 4:45 left in the first half.
The rest of the half went back and forth, ending with a three pointer from Partonen to leave the game tied at 28 heading to the locker room.
The second half was neck-and-neck, and with the eagles down 56-54 late, a big layup from Diop and two big free throws from junior Erin Drumheller tied the game up with ten seconds left in regulation.
Junior Claire Haeuptle had a chance to win the game, but her free throw rimmed out, sending the game to overtime.
In overtime, the teams showed little separation as the contest continued back and forth pattern. With the Eagles trailing 68-67 late, Haeuptle hit a huge three pointer to put the Eagles ahead, sending the crowd at the Anderson Center into a frenzy; however, Salisbury went on a mini 5-0 run to regain a 73-70 lead before Brie Matthes hit a game tying three pointer with six seconds left to send the game into a second overtime.
Salisbury’s Sarah Siepp dominated the second overtime, netting 32 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. She opened the period with a three pointer, and the Eagles never recovered on their way to a heart breaking 84-79 loss. The Eagles were plagued by 26 turnovers in the game.
The day was also a loss for the men’s team, with their impressive seven game winning streak broken in their first conference loss of the season, as Salisbury defeated the Eagles 81-71.
Midway through the first half it appeared the Eagles would take control after senior Dajon Daniel made a driving layup.
Daniel stole the inbounds pass and laid it in again giving the Eagles a 16-14 lead. Later in the half, seniors Marcellus Holley and Dylan Farinet each hit two big threes to give the Eagles an eight point lead, their biggest lead of the game.
Unfortunately, Salisbury rallied, and after Brandyn Wilkerson’s three-pointer the Eagles found themselves down 29-27 late in the first half.
Holley responded with a three to put the Eagles back up one before hitting the final basket of the half, leaving the Eagles tied at 32 heading into halftime.
In the second half of the men’s game, Salisbury came out firing from the three point line led by Dominic Milburn and Tim Harwood, who combined to make nine three pointers on the afternoon.
With Salisbury leading by eight early in the second half, and momentum turning away from the Eagles, Farinet came up with a big three to make it 49-44 with 13 minutes to play.
With the Eagles trailing 58-46, Farinet came up huge again with another three cutting Salisbury’s lead to nine, and after two Salisbury turnovers the Eagles found themselves down five with a little over five minutes to play.
That is as close as the Eagles would be the rest of the game as Salisbury made big three after big three to halt the Eagles’ attempt at a comeback as the Eagles fell 81-71.
Daniel was particularly impressive on Saturday scoring a team high 24 points and shooting a perfect 11-11 from the field.
While Salisbury’s three point shooting hurt the Eagles all afternoon, it was the discrepancy between the amounts of free throws shot by each team that proved to be the Eagle’s downfall. Salisbury went 15-20 from the charity strike while UMW ended up going 3-5 from the line.
What’s next for the Eagles? On Wednesday, Feb. 12, the UMW basketball teams will head down to Christopher Newport University to face the Captains in Newport News. The Lady Eagles tip off at 5:30, and the men’s game tips off at 7:30.