Senior Bradley Riester scored a game-high 25 points, including the 1,000th of his career early in the first half, to gain Most Outstanding Player honors and lead the University of Mary Washington men's basketball team to a 77-64 win over Eastern Mennonite University on Sunday in the Hampton Inn South Tipoff Tournament title game. The Eagles improve to 2-0, and Riester becomes the 17th player in school history to surpass 1,000 career points.
Unlike in Saturday's win over Montclair State, on Sunday, the Eagles perimeter shooting started cold, making just 2-11 three pointers in the first half. But the inside game thrived, as UMW shot 13-20 inside the arc in the opening 20 minutes.
The Royals took the slim lead early, and led throughout the opening nine minutes. A layup by freshman John Lutkehaus at 10:43 gave UMW a 14-13 advantage, and the Eagles held a slim lead over the next several minutes until a three pointer and pair of free throws gave EMU a 26-24 lead with 3:52 remaining.
A Lutkenhaus layup and a three pointer from freshman Asa Scott gave the Eagles a three point lead, which swelled to nine as UMW went on an 8-0 run to close the half and lead, 37-28, at intermission.
The Royals started the second half on an 8-4 run to cut the deficit to five at 41-36 with 17:11 remaining, but UMW answered with a 10-0 run of their own, with four players scoring in the stretch, to lead by 15 at 51-36 with 14:31 left.
The Eagles were able to keep the lead at double figures for the next seven minutes, withstanding one last EMU run, which cut the lead to 65-59 with 3:58 to go. From there Riester hit a three pointer, then senior Marcellus Holley stole the inbound pass and hit junior Taylor Johnson for another three in the span of 13 seconds to give the Eagles a comfortable 71-59 advantage which they would not relinquish.
Riester went 9-17 from the floor, including two three pointers, and also added four assists and four steals. Johnson, who was also named to the all-tournament team, scored 16 points on 5-11 shooting. Senior forward Dylan Farinet scored 11 points as the third Eagle in double figures.
UMW shot 28-59 for the game (47.5%), while limiting EMU to 33.3% (20-60). The Eagles forced 25 Royals turnovers.
"It feels great to win a tournament, especially for our seniors, who've been through a lot", said UMW head coach Rod Wood. "It's great to give them that experience, and to defeat two strong teams will certainly help us as we prepare for the battles of the CAC."
Riester was more satisfied with the team's achievements than his own, saying that it really hadn't sunk in about scoring 1,000 points. "I'm ecstatic", said Riester. "We take great pride in our defense, because at this level anybody can score. We love playing together and have a great group of guys that work hard every day."
UMW will visit Hampden-Sydney College on Friday in the opening round of the ACAC Fitness Center South Region Shootout. Tipoff is set for 8:00 p.m.