Freshman Bradley Riester (Richmond, Va., Monacan) scored a team-high 18 points to lead five Eagles in double figures as the University of Mary Washington men's basketball team defeated Hood College, 88-82, in the first round of the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament at Goolrick Gymnasium. The Eagles improve to 16-9 on the season, and will visit St. Mary's College in the CAC semifinals on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
The Eagles held the lead for much of the first half, but Hood was able to tie the score at 28-28 with 2:43 left. The Blazers closed the frame outscoring UMW, 6-3, to hold a 34-31 halftime advantage. UMW shot just 37.9% from the floor in the first half, making just 3-12 three point attempts.
But UMW got hot early in the second half and stayed hot for the final 20 minutes, going 17-25 from the field including 4-5 on three pointers to pull away. Hood started the half by expanding its lead to six at 39-33, but a 7-0 UMW run sparked by layups from Mike Harvey (East Berlin, Pa., Bermudian Springs), Tad Dickman (Springfield, Va., Robert E. Lee), and Riester gave the Eagles the lead at 40-39 with 17:36 to play.
The teams traded baskets until Hood tied the score at 48 with 14:17 to play. From there, Harvey sank two free throws and freshman E.J. Willis (Alexandria, Va., T.C. Williams) hit a three pointer to put the Eagles up five, 53-48, with a lead they would not relinquish. UMW led by as many as 13, at 71-58, with 7:06 to play, and held off the pesky Blazers, who cut the deficit to four twice in the final minute.
Riester scored 18 points, going 5-7 from the floor and 5-6 from the line, while Harvey scored 14 and added four assists. Willis and junior Ryan Henderson (Richmond, Va., Highland Springs) each scored 13 points, with Henderson grabbing eight rebounds and Willis seven. Walt Smith (Alexandria, Va., T.C. Williams) had 12 points, five assists, and three steals for UMW. Hood was led by Tyler Snoots' 23 points.
The fourth-seeded Eagles will visit St. Mary's, the top seed on Thursday at 7:00. St. Mary's swept the season series from the Eagles.