The University of Mary Washington men's basketball team showed little rust after a 13-day layoff in an 87-78 victory over visiting Virginia Wesleayn University on Saturday at Ron Rosner Arena. The Eagles shot a blistering 10-13 from behind the three point line in the opening half, and improve to 8-3 on the year.
The fast paced action saw several lead changes in the early going, with the lead changing hands eight times in the opening six minutes. The Marlins led, 18-15, with 13:56 left in the first, despite early long-range baskets from Mark Madison, A.J. Robinson, and Drew Johnson. UMW used another three from Madison to knot the score at 18, and Robinson's second triple gave the Eagles a 21-18 advantage with 12:49 left.
Michael Janowski's three pointer with 11:01 left extended UMW's lead to 26-21, and a Khiorie Stewart bucket and another three from Robinson upped the margin to 31-21 with 9:33 remaining. Another Robinson three with 4:52 on the clock returned the Eagle lead to 10, at 36-26, and a Madison three with 3:11 left extended the lead to 41-29. Stewart scored six points in a 10-0 run that propelled UMW's lead to 49-29 with 1:15 remaining before intermission. Six points to end the half pushed the halftime score to 51-34 in favor of the home team.
The Marlins turned up the pressure defensively to start the second half, and cut the deficit to nine points thanks to a pair of three pointers at 53-44 with 17:19 left in the game. Three points from junior Johnny Cronin and a Stewart basket returned the lead to 14, at 58-44 with 15:10 on the clock. The Marlins answered with four straight before a Madison jumper gave UMW a 60-48 cushion with 12:03 remaining, and a pair of Eric Shaw free throws pushed the margin to 62-48.
A Shaw three with 9:44 left upped the lead to 65-49, and another three from Robinson gave the Eagles a 68-51 lead with 6:22 left. A Marlins three with 2:15 left cut the deficit to 10, at 76-66, but a Shaw three point play put UMW back up, 79-68, with 1:39 to go. Shaw, Madison, and Johnson connected on free throws down the stretch to give the Eagles a nine-point victory - their first over the Marlins since 2014 in the NCAA Tournament third round.
UMW shot 54.9% from the field (28-51), making 13-23 three pointers and 18-25 free throws. Virginia Wesleyan shot 46.2% (30-65), making 12-28 three point tries and 6-15 free throws. The Marlins led in rebounds, 40-28.
The Eagles were led by Madison's 21 points on 6-8 shooting, including three three pointers, while Shaw scored 17, Robinson 15, and Stewart 14 in a balanced attack.
UMW will return to Capital Athletic Conference action on Wednesday when they host Wesley College as part of a doubleheader with the Eagle women, with the tip set for 8 p.m.