The University of Mary Washington men's basketball team jumped out to a first half lead and held on throughout the second half for a 78-75 victory over Christopher Newport University on Monday evening at Goolrick Gymnasium. The Eagles, who improve to 6-2 on the season, topple the Captains for the first time in the teams' last 12 meetings, dating back to 1985.
The Eagles opened the game shooting poorly, but only trailed 13-8 with 13:25 left in the frame. Eight points from freshman E.J. Willis (Alexandria, Va., T.C. Williams) over the next three minutes cut the deficit to one at 18-17 with 10:51 to go. UMW tied the score on a three pointer from junior Mike Harvey (East Berlin, Pa., Bermudian Springs) with 9:13 to play, and never trailed the rest of the night.
UMW's nine-point halftime advantage whittled down to two at 48-46 with 13:20 to go, and was back to a tie at 62-62 with 6:36 to play. But a pair of three pointers from freshmen Matt Boward (Manassas, Va., Forest Park) and Bradley Riester (Richmond, Va., Monacan) returned the lead to six at 68-62. Once again, CNU came back to tie the score, the latest at 73-73 with 1:11 to go.
A layup by Tad Dickman (Springfield, Va., Robert E. Lee) with 49 seconds left gave UMW the lead, and a Reister free throw upped the margin to three before the Captains scored with 15 seconds left to make the score 76-75. Junior Ryan Farrar (Ashburn, Va., Centreville, Va.) made a pair of free throws with 14 seconds left to move the final to 78-75.
Sophomore J.R. Gray (Staunton, Va., Robert E. Lee) and Willis led UMW with 17 points each, while Boward scored 12 and Reister added 11. Boward also led with eight rebounds for the Eagles. CNU was led by Tra Benefield's 21 points.
The Eagles will host Greensboro College on Tuesday at 2:00 p.m.