By DUSTIN THOMAS
Going into senior day this on Feb. 11 against Penn State-Harrisburg (5-17, 3-12 CAC), the University of Mary Washington women’s basketball team, led by seniors Brianne Comden and Megan Green, looked to be on their way to winning out for the rest of regular season and hosting the CAC tournament, which begins Tuesday, Feb. 21.
The two ladies were honored at the beginning of the game, and a wave of emotions set over the Anderson Center as two of the most decorated women’s basketball players in school history were playing in their final regular season home game.
The emotions all changed when time expired and sophomore McKenzie Jenkins’ three-pointer hit off the rim at the buzzer en route to a 58-57 defeat, by the hands of their conference opponent.
The Eagles were led in the loss by Comden, who finished with a team and game high of 14 points. Comden also added seven rebounds and two blocks in the nail-biter game. Jenkins finished with the second highest scoring total for the Eagles with 11 points, including a pair of deep threes. Green finished her last home regular season game with a game high five assists, along with two steals and six points.
As the clock ran out, fans clapped to celebrate the hard fought game and careers of Comden and Green, but also, tears were being shed as the team had fallen to quite an underdog, on a very special day. This all took place as the ladies and coaching staff from Penn State-Harrisburg celebrated on their end of the court, as though they had just won a national championship game, seeing as they had just defeated a top-10 nationally ranked opponent.
The Eagles will finish their regular season this week with away games at Marymount and at Wesley. If they win out, the Eagles will finish in a tie for first in the CAC with Christopher Newport University, if CNU wins out as well. With what would be a 16-2 record in conference play.
The regular season conference champion is the team that gains home court advantage in the conference tournament, which is a big deal to many teams.
“We would play home or away and still play just as hard either way but being able to play at home is nice because we will have all of our fans and support of our families,” Comden said. “Plus it is awesome to play and defend our home court.”
If both CNU and UMW win out as expected, a coin flip will take place to determine who gets home court, such as it did last year. For the 2015-16 CAC conference tournament, CNU won the coin-toss and hosted the CAC tournament in which UMW eventually won to advance to the NCAA tournament with an at-large bid. The CAC tournament begins next Tuesday and the Eagles will be at the Anderson Center, regardless of the coin toss result.