By ETHAN RATLIFF
Last Saturday, Senior Day for men’s and women’s basketball, the Eagles beat the Penn State–Harrisburg Nittany Lions. The women’s team shut down Penn State-Harrisburg, holding them to only six second-half points. The Eagles were led by their three seniors Jordan Pamlanye, Alannah Miller, and Meghan Comer. Pamlanye helped push the Eagles past the Nittany Lions with her 15 points and 11 rebounds. Miller and Comer contributed to the Eagles’ 66-28 win as well, as Miller finished with 5 points and Comer with 10.
The men’s team also recognized their four seniors: Johnny Cronin, Jacob Williams, Tyler Withers and Sekai Walker, by starting all four players who have been with the team since their freshman year. After a small 4-0 lead by Penn State–Harrisburg, the Eagles pulled ahead and went on to lead by 10 points for most of the game. In the last two minutes, a series of shots drew the Nittany Lions within two points of UMW, but the Eagles pulled ahead with free throws by Jacob Williams and Da’Shawn Cook, making the final score 68-62 Eagles.
Cronin and Williams shared player of the game with each scoring 20 points, a career and season-high for Williams, who was already at his previous record, 18 points, when he stepped up to the free-throw line in the last 0.5 seconds of the game.
“Of course I was a little nervous, I was going for twenty points, I’ve never had a twenty-point game yet.” said Williams, when asked about his final shots. “I was excited I could make that, I’ve been practicing my free throws with my coaches and that practice let me make it and hit [my career high].”
Earlier this season Johnny Cronin surpassed his career-high in points against Virginia Wesleyan, in which he scored 24 points over the course of the game. This game is his second highest point total for the season. Cronin was named CAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week on Jan 21, two weeks before Senior Day.
“It was great to get the win, especially with all of the families and alumni who attended the game,” said Cronin after the game, “For me personally, I know the hard work that this team puts in every day, and that is why every chance to play and win with my teammates is so special to me. It’s been a really fun journey, and I am excited to finish it out the right way with these guys.”
The game also marks head coach Markus Kahn’s 300th game win in his coaching career.
“I haven’t thought too much about winning 300 games,” Kahn said regarding his achievement, “I know that one day, I’ll look back at it, and I’m sure it’s something that I will be proud of. I think that it speaks mostly to how fortunate I’ve been in my career to be surrounded by the people that I have. There are a lot of people responsible for those wins. The players, coaching staffs, and my family that have supported me throughout. It’s a testament to all the work put in by everyone, not just me. I hope that they all take pride in it as well.”
Coach Kahn has been with the Eagles basketball program for four years after coaching at Cabrini College from 2008-2014. He has led the Eagles to the CAC championships three of the four years he has been the head coach.
Also in attendance was UMW alumni Mike Lee, who was inducted into the UMW Hall of Fame the day before the game. Lee, who graduated in 2007, holds records for three-point baskets in a game, three-pointers in a career, and three-point attempts in a game, season, and career. He received the award for CAC Rookie of the Year in 2004. Lee and other alumni attending were seated courtside and recognized during half time.
Both men’s and women’s teams play their final two regular season games at Southern Virginia University on the Feb. 13 and at York on the Feb. 16.