Junior guard T.J. Jones scored 26 points to lead the University of Mary Washington men's basketball team to an 83-66 victory over #26 Randolph-Macon College on Sunday afternoon in Ashland, Va., in both teams' season opener. Junior forward John Lutkenhaus added 15 points and sophomore Eric Shaw 12 for the Eagles.
In the early going, both teams shot very well, with the lead changing hands six times in the opening 3:55. The Yellow Jackets used a three pointer from Michael Taylor to lead, 14-12, with 16:05 left in the first half, but an 11-2 Eagle run gave UMW a 23-16 lead with 11:25 remaining. Six points from Shaw and five from Jones accounted for the run, and the Eagles would never trail again.
The Jackets used a 7-0 run to tie the score, but again Mary Washington had an answer, returning the lead to 29-23 on a Jacob Williams layup with 7:14 to play. A three pointer from RMC cut the Eagle lead to one, at 36-35, with 2:12 to go, but a basket from Asa Scott and a pair from Lutkenhaus gave UMW a seven-point lead at intermission, 42-35.
After the Jackets cut the deficit to five to start the second, the Eagles used a 10-0 run to grab a 54-39 advantage, led by Jones' seven points in the streak. The lead bounced back and forth between 15 and 18 points, until a three point basket from junior Brent Mahoney pushed the lead to 20, at 76-56, with 3:37 to go.
From there, the lead grew to 22 before a late charge from RMC cut the final deficit to 17, giving the Eagles their first victory.
"It was important for us to set the tempo early and get off to a fast start", said UMW head coach Marcus Kahn. "I thought our guys competed for 40 minutes, and equally important, played together."
UMW shot a blistering 53.2% from the floor (33-62), making 9-20 three point attempts and 8-14 free throws. Randolph-Macon shot 42.6% (23-54), making 7-21 three pointers and 13-21 free throws. UMW held a 38-30 advantage on the boards (including 10 offensive rebounds), and committed nine turnovers to 12 for the Jackets.
Jones was 9-18 from the floor, making 3-8 three pointers and 5-7 free throws, while Lutkenhaus went 7-10 from the floor en route to 15 points. Shaw added 12 points, and Scott had eight points and a team-high nine rebounds for UMW. Lutkenhaus added five assists.
Randolph-Macon was led by Lamont Moore's 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Eagles will be back in action on Wednesday when they visit Lynchburg College at 7:00 p.m.