Senior Dajon Daniel scored 17 points, and classmate Bradley Riester added 16 to lead the 19th ranked University of Mary Washington men's basketball team to an 82-56 victory at Penn State Harrisburg on Saturday in the regular season finale. The Eagles improve to 20-5 on the season and gain the second seed in the CAC Tournament next week.
The Eagles jumped out to an early lead and never looked back on Saturday, scoring the first eight points thanks to three pointers from Taylor Johnson (14 points) and Riester, and a Daniel layup. Senior Dylan Farinet and Johnson each hit three pointers to up the Eagle lead to 17-6 with 13:16 left in the first half, and the Eagles used layups from Dom Morra and John Lutkenhaus to expand the lead to 21-9 with 11:15 to go.
UMW built the lead to 32-13 with a Marcellus Holley three pointer with 6:30 left, and a pair of Daniel baskets pushed the margin to 20 at 36-16 with 4:30 remaining. A Riester jumper and three pointer capped a 12-0 run that gave UMW a 46-16 lead with 1:18 left in the half. The Eagles led, 46-21, at intermission.
A 9-3 run by the Lions cut the deficit to 49-30 with 16:04 to play, but a 10-0 Eagles run kept the margin intact. Four straight points from Lutkenhaus gave UMW a 75-48 advantage with 4:27 left, and the eagles held on the rest of the way for an 82-56 victory.
Daniel made 8-13 shots for a team-high 17 points, while Riester, who is second in the nation in three pointers, made four more while shooting 5-12 overall. Johnson shot 4-10 for 14 points, and Holley and Lutkenhaus each scored eight off the bench for UMW.
The Eagles shot 47.7% from the field (31-65), making 10-32 three pointers, and went 10-15 from the free throw line. Penn State Harrisburg shot 31.8% (14-44), making 8-23 three pointers and was 20-25 from the free throw line. UMW held a 33-30 rebounding edge, and forced 31 Lion turnovers with 18 steals.
The win also surpasses the 20-win plateau for the program for the third time in school history. The 2002-03 team finished 24-5, and the 2003-04 team went 20-8.
Mary Washington will gain bye in the first round of the CAC Tournament on Tuesday, and play the winner of third seeded St. Mary's vs. sixth-seeded Marymount on Thursday at the Anderson Center at 7:00 p.m.