The University of Mary Washington men's basketball team shook off a horrific early shooting performance to top Stevenson University, 63-53, on Wednesday night in both teams' Capital Athletic Conference opener. The Eagles, winners of five straight, improve to 5-1 overall.
Senior forward Tad Dickman (Springfield, Va., Robert E. Lee) led the Eagles with 19 points - none bigger than a pair of back-to-back threes late in the second half to extend a one-possesion Eagle lead to nine - and grabbed 10 rebounds. Sophomore Bradley Riester (Richmond, Va., Monacan) scored 15 and hauled in eight rebounds, and sophomore E.J. Willis (Alexandria, Va., T.C. Williams) scored 11 points for the Eagles.
The Eagles jumped out to a quick 12-4 lead, which evaporated into a 13-12 deficit with 8:55 left in the first half. The teams traded the lead back and forth through sloppy play until a Matt Boward (Manassas, Va., Forest Park) layup with 12 seconds left gave UMW a 27-25 halftime advantage.
The shooting woes for both sides continued to start the second half, as neither team produced a point for the first three minutes of action. The Mustangs scored the first six points of the half to take a 33-27 lead, but from there UMW awoke offensively, going on an 11-1 run to take a 38-34 lead with 10:06 to play.
A three point play from Ryan Henderson (Richmond, Va., Highland Springs) upped UMW's lead to nine at 45-36 with 8:55 to go, and Dickman scored eight straight Eagle points followed by a Riester three to give the Eagles a 56-46 lead with 4:56 to go. UMW made seven free throws down the stretch for the win.
The Eagles will be back in action on Saturday when they host Frostburg State University at 4:00 p.m.