ROCHESTER, NY - The University of Mary Washington women's basketball team used the strength of a 49-15 first half en route to an 84-53 victory over ninth-ranked William Paterson University at the University of Rochester on Friday evening in the first round of the NCAA Division III women's tournament. The Eagles improve to 22-5 on the season, while William Paterson finishes the year with a 25-3 record.
"Tonight was amazing", said UMW head coach Deena Applebury. "We knew they (Wm. Paterson) were very quick and they did a good job in the paint… We try to stick with what we do best. We’re not a slow team, but we’re not as quick as they are."
The Red Dragons started by quickly taking the lead by scoring five of the first seven points of the game, but UMW soon turned the tide, going on a 12-0 run to lead 14-5, with 15:15 left in the first half. After a William Paterson bucket, UMW went on another tear, and led 33-9 with 8:32 remaining. UMW led by as many as 36 in the first before leading by 34, 49-15, at intermission.
The impressive first half saw the Eagles shoot a scintillating 19-29 from the floor (65.5%) while limiting the ninth-ranked Red Dragons to just 6-37 (16.2%).
In the second half, the Eagles shot 14-27 from the floor (51.9%) and kept the lead to at least 29 and to as many as 42 before settling with the 31-point victory. UMW outrebounded William Paterson, 59-27, in the game.
Mary Washington's balanced attack saw four players in double figures, as sophomores Jenna McRae (Springfield, Va., Annandale) and Katie Wimmer (Vienna, Va., James Madison) each scored 14 points, as did freshman Kate Vennergrund (Centreville, Va., Centreville). Sophomore Lauren Kornacki (Glen Allen, Va., Deep Run) added a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. McRae was 6-7 from the floor, and added seven rebounds and six assists. Vennergrund added five rebounds in only 15 minutes of play.
"We realized that everyone was doing their job", said McRae. "We don’t get caught up in what the score is (at a specific point)."
William Paterson was led by Elisa Brown's 21 points.
The Eagles will face either Rochester of SUNY Cortland on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.