Senior guard Bradley Riester scored a game-high 26 points, and senior Dylan Farinet capped the scoring with the shot clock expiring in the final seconds to lift the 12th ranked University of Mary Washington men's basketball team to a 67-61 win at St. Mary's College on Wednesday night. The Eagles improve to 18-2 on the season, and 11-1 in Capital Athletic Conference action.
In a game liked to a heavyweight fight, both teams traded blows throughout. Neither team led by more than four in the opening 13 minutes of action, as the Eagles used the hot hand of Riester to maintain small leads, only to be countered by St. Mary's. After nine lead changes in the first 10 minutes, UMW used a Farinet three to open up a five-point lead at 25-20 with 6:58 remaining in the half.
After the Seahawks regained the lead in the 10th lead change of the half, Dajon Daniel hit a layup, followed by a Riester three to return the lead to four at 30-26 with 1:36 left. The Seahawks hit three straight free throws with 10 seconds left to cut the halftime margin to 30-29.
The second half proved to be equally hard fought, as the Eagles built several leads to as many as five points, but the Seahawks tied the lead at 47 with 8:14 to play. But Farinet hit another three, and Taylor Johnson followed with a layup to push the lead back to five. A pair of Daniel free throws and layup built UMW's largest lead to that point at 58-50 with 3:47 remaining, but the Seahawks reeled off five straight to cut the margin back to three with 2:32 left.
Riester and Morra followed with layups to push the score to 62-55 with 1:38 to go, but a pair of St. mary's three pointers sandwiched around a pair of Riester free throws made the score 64-61 with just 40 seconds left. The Eagles held the ball until there were 12 seconds in the game and seven on the shot clock before calling time out. On the ensuing play, the Eagles worked the ball to the wing, where Farinet shut the door with a three pointer with six seconds left.
After a foul to stop the Seahawks momentum and run more clock in the backcourt, the St. Mary's final shot came up short, handing the Eagles the 67-61 win.
"Great win on the road over a great team", said UMW head coach Rod Wood. "It was a war from the opening tip, and our guys came up with the big plays when we needed them... A big free throw, a big defensive rebound, a big three."
Riester led all players with 26 points, shooting 9-14 from the floor, including 4-8 three pointers. Daniel scored 12 points on 5-8 shooting, and also added seven rebounds. Johnson scored 10 points as well. Farinet had nine points and six rebounds, and Morra added eight points and eight assists.
The Eagles shot 25-47 from the field (53.2%), including 10-23 on three pointers, and struggled at the line, shooting 7-14. St. Mary's went 25-60 from the floor (41.7%), making 6-23 three point attempts and 5-11 free throws.
Mary Washington will host Salisbury University on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. in another CAC contest.