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Strong Defense Lifts UMW Men's Basketball Past Merchant Marine, 65-42

Strong Defense Lifts UMW Men's Basketball Past Merchant Marine, 65-42

The University of Mary Washington men's basketball team used a game-high 19 points from Drew Johnson, and limited visiting Merchant Marine Academy to 19 second half points in a 65-42 victory on Saturday night in the Hyatt Place Tipoff Tournament at Ron Rosner Arena. The Eagles improve to 3-0 on the season.

The Eagles threatened to break the game open early, taking a 14-2 lead behind four three point baskets, including a pair from Johnson. The Mariners cut the deficit to three at 19-16 after a 17-2 run to remain tight. A Johns three with 4:14 left returned the UMW advantage to double digits, and five straight points from sophomore Da'Shawn Cook gave UMW a 34-23 lead at intermission.

After a Merchant Marine three pointer opened the half, the Mariners would score just one point afterward in the first 10 minutes of the second half, as the Eagles built its lead to 53-27 with a 19-4 run. The teams would trade points from then on, with the Eagles claiming a 23-point victory.

Johnson led the way with 19 points on 7-13 shooting, including 5-10 on three point attempts. Junior guard Riley Welch also hit double figures with 11 points. Johnson and Cook each grabbed eight rebounds, and junior guard Anias Saunders dished out six assists.

The Eagles shot 24-59 from the floor (40.7%), making 12-37 three point attempts and 5-6 free throws. Merchant Marine shot 14-49 (28.6%), making 8-28 three point tries and 6-12 free throws.

UMW will host Eastern University on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. in the championship of the Hyatt Place Tipoff Tournament.