February 23, 2013

UMW Women's Basketball Falls at Marymount in CAC Championship, 53-42

The University of Mary Washington women's basketball team, playing in its ninth Capital Athletic Conference championship in the past 10 years, fell on the road to top-seeded Marymount University, 53-42, on Saturday in the 2013 title game. The Eagles fall to 20-7 on the season.

After the Saints hit a three pointer to start the scoring, the Eagles scored 10 straight points to hold a game-high seven point lead. Junior guard Sam Partonen scored eight in the run. The Saints battled back to take a 15-14 edge, but a Howland free throw and layup gave UMW a 17-15 advantage. At that point, Partonen and Howland provided all of UMW's offense, with Partonen scoring 10 and Howland seven.

The Saints then converted six free throws to take a 21-17 lead, but a free throw from Carol Dye and a Caitlin Ciniero layup cut the deficit to one at 21-20 with 3:26 left in the half. Partonen then hit a three pointer with 1:35 left to give the Eagles a lead at 23-21, but a pair of Marymount free throws with 1:02 tied the score going to halftime at 23.

The Eagles scored the first two baskets of the second half on a jumper from Dye and a layup from Aby Diop, but the Saints answered with two of their own to tie the score at 27. Howland put the eagles ahead with 16:52 remaining, but Marymount then scored six straight to take a four-point advantage at 33-29 with 15:01 left.

A pair of Claire Haeuptle free throws and a jumper from Diop tied the score again with 13:09 remaining, but the Saints answered with seven straight points to lead, 40-33, with 9:43 left. An Erin Drumheller three pointer cut the deficit to 40-36, and a Dye free throw with 5:50 left kept the margin at four at 41-37.

After a Katelyn Fischer layup, sophomore Amanda Witmer made a layup to again close the gap to four at 43-39 with 4:20 on the clock. But the Saints then sank eight free throws to push the lead to 51-39 with 1:27 left. A Claire Haeuptle three pointer stemmed the tide, but a pair of free throws from Fischer with 36 seconds left sealed the scoring at 53-42.

The Eagles shot 15-45 from the field (33.3%) with four three pointers, but went just 8-17 from the free throw line. The Saints shot just 29.8% from the field (14-47) with two three pointers, and went 23-32 from the line. The Eagles had 22 turnovers and the Saints 21, and Marymount won the rebounding battle, 45-30.

Partonen led UMW with 13 points, while Howland added nine points and eight rebounds, sharing the team lead with Dye. Fischer had 18 to lead all scorers.

The Eagles will now await a possible NCAA Tournament birth. The selection show will be broadcast on NCAA.com on Monday at 1:30 p.m.