Senior guard Dom Morra scored a career-high 22 points, and added eight assists, six rebounds, three blocks and three steals to pace the University of Mary Washington men's basketball team to a 95-87 double overtime win over Virginia Wesleyan College on Tuesday evening. After having never beaten a top-10 opponent in program history, the Eagles have now done it twice in four days.
In a tight battle throughout, the Eagles held the lead for most of the first half, leading by as many as nine and settling for a 36-29 halftime advantage. Senior Dylan Farinet got the Eagles off to a hot start, connecting for 13 first half points on 6-8 shooting.
In the second half, UMW's led was quickly trimmed to two at 40-38 with 16:54 left, but the Eagles responded with eight straight points, as junior Taylor Johnson hit a three, freshman john Lutkenhaus made a layup, and Riester hit a three to put UMW ahead, 48-38, with 15:37 to go.
UMW's lead swelled to 13 on a pair of Morra free throws with 10:44 left, but three straight three pointers by the Marlins cut the lead back to four at 55-51 with 9:07 remaining. A Lutkenhaus free throw with 6:16 capped a 6-0 spurt by the Eagles, but again the Marlins responded with a run that cut the deficit to two at 68-66 with 3:12 left.
UMW used a Riester three and a pair of Morra free throws to move the lead to seven at 73-66 with 2:39 left, but a layup and pair of three pointers from D.J. Woodmore tied the score with 15 seconds left. After an Eagle turnover, the eagles were forced to foul, and the Marlins missed the front end of a one-and-one with 6.8 seconds remaining. Farinet found a good look at the buzzer, but the shot wouldn't fall, sending the game to overtime.
In the first extra frame, the Eagles again jumped ahead, with Morra scoring a layup and finished a conventional three-point play, and UMW led, 81-77, with 2:20 left. Another Woodmore three cut the lead to one, and a pair of Marlins free throws with 39 seconds left gave the Marlins their first lead of the extra frame, 82-81. Yoxthimer hit a free throw with 35 seconds left to tie the score, and UMW forced a turnover in the final second to force overtime number two.
After VWC scored the opening bucket in period four, Riester connected on a pair of three pointers, and Morra hit three free throws to build UMW's lead to seven at 91-84 with 1:21 to play. Brandon Mitchell's three with 37 seconds cut the deficit to 91-87, but Riester and Dajon Daniel both made a pair of free throws to cap the scoring. UMW outscored the guests, 13-5, in the second OT.
"For a coach, I am so happy for our kids", said an emotional UMW head coach Rod Wood afterward. "I am so proud to be their coach... This team is indescribable."
"We weren't going to lose", said Riester, whose 29 points led the way. Morra added, "Everything is paying off... all the hard work we've put in."
Riester made 9-16 shots, including 7-12 three pointers, and also added seven rebounds. Morra was 6-10 from the floor, and made 10 free throws, and added eight assists, six rebounds, three blocked shots, and three steals. Farinet was the third Eagle in double figures, scoring 16 points before fouling out. Woodmore led all scorers with 34 points.
UMW shot 47.7% from the field (31-65), making 14-31 three pointers, while the Marlins shot 36% (31-86), and went 13-55 on three pointers (23.6%).
The Eagles will finish the 2013 portion of the schedule on Saturday when they visit Randolph College at 1:00 p.m.