UMW Men's Basketball Falls at #7 St. Mary's, 89-81, in CAC Semifinals
The University of Mary Washington men's basketball team saw its season come to an end Thursday night as they fell 89-81 in the Capital Athletic Conference semifinals to the number one seeded St. Mary's (Md.) Seahawks. The Eagles trailed by just one point, 35-34, at halftime following a jumper at the horn by junior EJ Willis. The Seahawks took control to start the second half though, scoring the first 14 points in a five minute span and never relinquished the lead.
The action in the first half was back and forth as there were eight lead changes and neither team led by more than six points. The Eagles started strong from behind the arc, hitting their first two shots from long range to take an early 6-3 advantage. St. Mary's also connected on their first two three-pointers, before each team traded foul shots to push the score to 10-10 just over four minutes into the contest. Both teams traded shots through the remainder of the first half before Willis' jumper with a toe on the three-point arc got the Eagles within a point heading to the locker room.
Mary Washington came out cold in the second half missing their first five shots, while the Seahawks hit five of their first seven to push the lead to 15. Guard Nick Laguerre started the scoring for St. Mary's with a three pointer, and the Seahawks eventually pushed their lead to 18 points with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game. The Eagles cut the lead down to seven points on a layup by sophomore guard Taylor Johnson with two minutes and 30 seconds remaining but couldn't get any closer as the Seahawks hit nine of their 10 free throws to end the game.
The Eagles finished 11-24 from behind the arc (46%) and were led in scoring by junior guard Dylan Farinet's 25 points, including 4-5 from three point range. Junior guard Bradley Riester poured in 17 points and Johnson added 14 points and eight rebounds. Donn Hill paced the Seahawks with 21 points (11-13 from the free throw line). Laguerre had 19 points to go along with eight rebounds and six assists, as St. Mary's moves on to face Wesley College in the conference finals on Saturday.
Mary Washington finishes its season with a 14-13 overall record. St. Mary's improves to 23-3 on the season with the victory.