The UMW men's basketball team will look for its third win of the season against St. Mary's tonight in the semifinals of the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament. The Eagles, ranked 17th in the nation this week by D3Hoops.com, enter play with a 20-5 record, having won two straight. The Seahawks, who advanced to last year's NCAA Elite Eight and are the defending CAC Champions, enter at 19-7 on the year. The winner of tonight's game will face the winner of tonight's Wesley/Christopher Newport game on Saturday at the higher seeded team's court.
The Eagles seem to have righted the ship after dropping three straight, winning their last two games, both on the road, at Southern Virginia and Penn State Harrisburg. The Eagles are led by senior guard Bradley Riester, who leads the CAC with 18.4 PPG. The Eagles' balanced attack includes junior Taylor Johnson (13.5 PPG), Dylan Farinet (13.4 PPG), and Dajon Daniel (11.6 PPG).
Riester currently ranks third in the nation in three pointers made, with 91. Daniel has come on strong of late, scoring in double figures in UMW's last 10 games, at an 18.0 PPG clip. Daniel has been red hot from the field of late, making 43-60 in UMW's last five games (71.7%).
The Seahawks enter the semifinals after topping Marymount, 95-80, in the first round on Tuesday. Junior Nick Laguerre and sophomore Troy Spurrier led the Seahawks with 21 points apiece. Laguerre leads the Seahawks at 15.4 PPG, followed by Donn Hill at 14.1 PPG, and Brendan McFall at 11.3 PPG. Spurrier adds 10.7 PPG.
After dropping three games to the Seahawks a year ago, all by less than 10 points, UMW has won both meetings this season. On December 14, the Eagles won in Fredericksburg, 66-64, thanks to a Riester three pointer with less than seven seconds remaining. That win was the first in program history over a top-10 ranked team, and the team then defeated #9 Virginia Wesleyan four days later. On February 5 in St. Mary's City, the Eagles won, 67-61, led by Riester's 26 points.
Tickets are still available for tonight's game, and can be purchased at the ticket booth this evening. No passes will be accepted for tonight's game. All UMW students will be admitted for free with a valid I.D.