2010-11 UMW Women's Basketball in Review

With just one senior on the roster, the 2010-11 University of Mary Washington women’s basketball team surpassed the 20-win plateau for the seventh straight year, remaining one of the top programs in NCAA Division III basketball.

The Eagles opened the season with a rare home loss, a 54-49 decision to Washington & Lee University. UMW then dropped a 60-54 game at Randolph-Macon College to fall to 0-2 on the season.

With heightened hopes slipping away, the Eagles then kicked the season into high gear, going 20-3 in their next 23 games, to maintain the high level of excellence the program is known for.

After topping Roanoke, 70-61, the Eagles returned home for a pair of home wins, 69-48 over Shenandoah and 54-41 over Stevenson. After topping Frostburg, UMW fell to Marymount at the buzzer and at Lehman in New York before beating Cabrini and Westfield State in Puerto Rico, and closed the 2010 calendar with a 6-4 mark.

The turn of the calendar to January saw the Eagles fall on the road at nationally-ranked Christopher Newport before winning 14 straight games, including 13 in CAC play as well as a 65-60 win over state foe Ferrum College. Included in the streak were a pair of wins over York College and Wesley College, and a 45-21 win at Marymount, in a game in which the Saints garnered just four second half points.

The Eagle defense was a source of pride all season, as UMW in another game limited Hood to just 21 points. UMW ranked among national leaders by limiting opponents to just 32.4% shooting from the field and 46.8 points per game. The Eagles allowed 60 or more points just three times all year, and no team scored more than 68 in a game against the team’s staunch defense.

After closing the regular season on a 14-game win streak, the Eagles hosted Wesley College in the CAC semifinals, and fell by one point, 54-53, when the Eagles’ last second jumper rimmed out. Unfortunately, the semifinal loss (UMW’s first before the league championship game in seven years) kept UMW out of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005, despite the team’s 20-6 record and quality wins over opponents in and out of the CAC.

The Eagles were led by junior guards Jenna McRae and Katie Wimmer in 2010-11, both of whom gained all-conference first team honors. Wimmer led UMW with 12.9 points per game, with 81 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game. Her shooting accuracy was among the tops in the CAC, as she shot 45.3% from the floor, including 39.7% from three point range. She also shot 81.4% from the free throw line. McRae scored 12.8 points per contest, shooting 44.7% from the field, and added 6.4 rebounds per game.

Junior Rachel Martin was a key piece to the Eagle puzzle before injuring her knee and ending her season after 21 games. She netted 9.3 points per game and was among the top three point shooters in the region. Sophomore Carol Dye produced 6.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, and freshman Sam Partonen grew each game at the point, scoring 4.5 points and averaging 3.4 assists per game.