February 25, 2012

UMW Men Fall In Conference Championship to York, 59-51

Many of coach Rod Wood's players were sitting in the stands as the University of Mary Washington women's team held on in the waning moments to defeat York and win the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament Championship. In the early minutes of the first half against York, Wood's Eagles looked prime to carry the momentum over and give Mary Washington the championship sweep. The Eagles led by as many as eight points in the first 20 minutes with 11 points from freshman forward Sean Armstrong, but couldn't hold on in the end, losing to the fourth seeded York (Pa.) College Spartans 59-51 at the William M. Anderson Center.

Armstrong knocked down his first two shots of the night, both three pointers, to give Mary Washington an early 6-5 advantage. Sophomore guard Bradley Riester hit a three pointer of his own at the 9:30 mark of the first half to give Mary Washington it's biggest lead of the night at 20-12, but the Spartans cut the lead to four points going into the half.

York took over in the second half, outscoring the Eagles by 12 points while forcing 11 second half turnovers.  Armstrong picked up his fourth foul for the Eagles with just over 9 minutes remaining and the Eagles trailing by only two. Mary Washington never led again though as the Spartans made their free-throws down the stretch to take the conference tournament title and earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Senior forward Tad Dickman led Mary Washington with 15 points in his final game in an Eagle uniform. Armstrong finished with 12 points and seven boards, while Reister added 11 off the bench.

Forward Paul Kouvaris frustrated the Eagles' defense for much of the night, finishing with 16 points and eight rebounds. Guard Mo Oursler added 13 points for the Spartans, including going 3-7 from behind the arc. As a team, York shot 28 free throws (17-28) while the Eagles managed only 14 (8-14).

The loss ends another successful season for Wood's Eagles. Mary Washington finishes the year 18-9 overall.