February 27, 2010

#24 UMW Women's Basketball Falls to #7 Marymount in CAC Championship, 50-48



FREDERICKSBURG, VA - The 24th-ranked University of Mary Washington women's basketball team nearly overcame a 13-point deficit in the final 5:37, but couldn't come all the way back in a 50-48 defeat to Marymount University on Saturday in the 2010 Capital Athletic Conference Championship at Goolrick Gymnasium. The Eagles fall to 21-5, while the Saints improve to 26-1.

In a battle of two of the top defensive teams in all of NCAA Division III, both teams brought their defensive "A" games in the first half. The Eagles shot 31.6% in the first half, making 6-19 field goals, and the Saints made just 8-26 field goals (30.8%) en route to a 19-17 halftime lead. Early jitters were evident on both sides, as the two teams combined for 24 turnovers in the first half.

After freshman Carol Dye (Springfield, Va., Lake Braddock) scored the game's opening basket, Marymount scored six straight points and held UMW out of the lead the rest of the half, leading by as many as seven at 14-7 with 7:34 left. UMW was able to tie the score at 16 with 3:09 remaining on a Katie Wimmer (Vienna, Va., James Madison) jumper. A late three pointer by Marymount's Meredith Levison gave the Saints a two-point advantage at intermission.

The second half saw both teams turn up the pressure offensively. After both teams shot in the low 30 percentile in the first half, both shot better than 50% in the second, as the Saints made 12-23 baskets (52.2%) and the Eagles made a blistering 56.5% (13-23).

With the score tied at 27 with 16:10 left in the game, Marymount went on a 9-0 run over the next three minutes to assume control of the game. The Saints upped the lead to as many as 13 at 49-36 with 5:37 remaining. 

But the Eagles made a furious comeback in the waning minutes, started by an Ashley Reed (Fairfax Station, Va., Robinson) three pointer with 5:14 to go to cut the deficit to 49-39. Sophomore Jenna McRae (Springfield, Va., Annandale) added a three with 3:51 to go to cut the score to 49-42, and then added another jumper to cut the deficit to five at 49-44 with 2:57 remaining. 

Sophomore Claire Brooks (Glen Allen, Va., Deep Run) hit a key jumper with 2:26 to go to cut the deficit to three, and after a Katie Wimmer steal, Dye got the Eagles to within one at 49-48 with a layup with 36 seconds remaining. Marymount's Terrell White hit one of two free throws with nine seconds left, giving the Eagles a chance at a last-second chance to tie or take the lead. UMW drove the length of the court but turned the ball over with one second remaining.

Dye led the Eagles with 13 points on 5-8 shooting, and added eight rebounds, five steals, and three blocked shots. Kathleen Brown was the only Saint in double figures with 14 points to lead all scorers.

Mary Washington will look to advance to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the sixth straight year as an at-large selection to the bracket, which will be announced on NCAA.com at 12:30 p.m. on Monday.