Junior forward Aby Diop scored a career-high 15 points and added 10 rebounds in leading the 13th ranked University of Mary Washington women's basketball team to a 64-50 win over Shenandoah University on Tuesday night at the Anderson Center in the Eagles' home opener.
The Eagles built a four-point cushion at 33-29 at halftime, as Shenandoah stayed close by making 6-11 three point attempts in the opening 20 minutes. UMW used a balanced attack in the first, as junior guard Sam Partonen scored eight points while Diop, junior Brieneke Matthes, and freshman Caitie Geoghegan each posted six points. UMW shot 50% from the floor in the first half, while six of the Hornets' 10 field goals were from long range.
The Eagles used a 9-2 run to open the second half, including five from Diop, to up the lead to 11 at 42-31 with 17:53 remaining. The Hornets were able to close the deficit to six several times, including with 6:22 to play, but Diop quickly returned the lead to nine and successful free throws from Diop and sophomore Amanda Witmer kept the lead at 10 at 60-50 with 2:44 to play. In the final minute, Partonen and Witmer each made two free throws for the 14-point win.
Partonen added six rebounds, five assists, and three steals to go with her 13 points, and Matthes added 10, including three three-pointers. Sophomore Aubrey Howland added seven points and a game-high 11 rebounds. The Eagles won the battle of the boards, 49-27. Shenandoah was led by Sara D'Amico's 13 points.
The Eagles will return to action on Saturday when they face Greensboro College in the Methodist University Holiday Tournament. Tipoff is 8:00 p.m.