A.J. Robinson drilled the game winning three pointer with 5.8 seconds left to lead the University of Mary Washington men's basketball team to an 86-85 overtime victory over Eastern Mennonite on Wednesday evening in Harrisonburg, VA., in both teams' season opener.
In the early going, the Eagles jumped out to a 10-3 lead on a three pointer by Robinson just 2:22 into the game. The Eagles held the lead at 16-10 with 11:47 left, until the Royals reeled off nine straight points to go ahead 19-16 with 10:42 remaining in the first half.
UMW regained the lead 25-24 on an Austin Hall jumper with 6:56 left. They would keep the lead for the rest of the half and head into the locker room up 41-38. Junior forward Eric Shaw scored 10 points to lead the Eagles in the 1st half.
In the second half, freshman guard Drew Johnson hit a three pointer to put the Eagles up 44-40 with 19:03 left to play. Eastern Mennonite put together a 17-2 run, in a span of 4:16, to take the lead 57-46 with 13:11 left. Sophomore Mark Madison scored four straight points to bring the Eagles within nine points with 11:13 left.
Over the next five minutes, UMW chipped away at the lead and regained it with 6:40 left. Robinson started the comeback with a three pointer to bring UMW within seven. Johnson and junior forward Johnny Cronin then combined to score the next 13 points to grab the lead at 67-66.
The Eagles pushed the lead to 75-67 on a Shaw jump shot with 3:02 remaining in the game. A couple turnovers in the last two minutes gave EMU a chance to comeback. The Royals took advantage of those turnovers and hit a game-tying three pointer to make it 76-76 with 19 seconds remaining. Shaw got a final shot with time expiring but the ball clanked off the back rim to push the game to overtime.
In overtime, the Eagles jumped out to an 80-77 lead on a Johnson three pointer and Jacob Williams free throw with 4:01 left. The teams would trade buckets over the next two minutes.
EMU retook the lead with 34 seconds remaining on two made free throws. Shaw had a good look to tie the game with 24 seconds, but it rimmed out. Robinson grabbed a huge offensive rebound and then spotted up in the corner to hit a game winning three pointer with 5.8 seconds remaining in overtime. Shaw secured the win for UMW with a steal at the end.
Johnson led all scorers with 20 points, including four three pointers, while Shaw added 16 points to go along with 13 rebounds. Robinson poured in 15 points, while Cronin was 5-6 from the field with 12 points. The Royals were led by RaShawn Latimer with 17 points.
The Eagles shot 41.2% from the field (28-68), making 15-41 three pointers and 15-31 free throws, while EMU shot 45.6% from the field (31-68), with 8-27 on three pointers and 15-24 on free throws. UMW controlled the boards, 44-40, and also dished out 22 assists.
Mary Washington will return home on Saturday to host Randolph College at 7:00 p.m. in the second game of the Hyatt Place Tipoff Tournament.