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Balanced Scoring Helps UMW Men’s Basketball Top Shenandoah, 81-53, in Season Opener

Balanced Scoring Helps UMW Men’s Basketball Top Shenandoah, 81-53, in Season Opener

The University of Mary Washington men's basketball team saw six different players score 10 or more points to help them defeat Shenandoah University, 81-53, in their season opener on Friday night in Ron Rosner Arena. Junior Drew Johnson scored 12 points, hauled in a career high 17 rebounds, and dished out four assists to be named the Virginia Lottery Player of the Game.

UMW jumped out to a fast start as they went up 8-2 in the first two minutes. Anias Saunders made a three-pointer to open the scoring for the season. After a drought from the Eagles over the next six minutes, the Hornets took an 11-10 advantage. UMW tied the game up at 15 a piece as Da'Shawn Cook knocked down a three-pointer and then the Eagles took the lead with a Saunders layup. 

The Eagles scored seven straight points to go up nine, 24-15, as Cook knocked down a three-pointer to cap the run. UMW went into the locker room with a 10 point lead, 34-24, as Riley Welch drained a jump shot before the end of the half.

Out of the half, UMW expanded their lead to 13 just three minutes in. Saunders gave the Eagles a 20 point advantage, 48-28, as he knocked down a three-pointer and then made a free throw with 13:59 remaining. Welch nailed a three-pointer with 11:39 left to keep the Eagles up 20. 

After the Hornets trimmed UMW's lead to 15, Wayne Clevert made two straight three-pointers to push the Eagles lead to 21, 59-38, with 9:36 remaining in the game. The Eagles were in cruise control for the rest of the way and never let Shenandoah get within 20 points over the last nine minutes. Nathan Waddy scored the final four points to cap the game for the Eagles.

Saunders led UMW with 16 points on 6-13 shooting from the field. Freshman Trey Barber scored 11 points and recorded six block shots, while also hauling in five rebounds. Cook had 13 points, Clevert added 12, and Welch finished with 11 points on the day. Johnson, Welch, and Saunders all had three steals a piece.

The Eagles shot 31-70 (44.3%) from the field, 13-33 (39.4%)from three-point range, and 6-9 (66.7%) from the free throw line. UMW out-rebounded Shenandoah 48-43 on the night.

UMW will be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Eastern Mennonite for a game at 7 p.m.