Senior guard Katie Wimmer scored 16 first half points as seventh-ranked Mary Washington built a 27-6 halftime lead, and the Eagles held on in the second half for a 39-32 victory over resilient Keuka College in the first round of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament on Friday at the William M. Anderson Center. The Eagles will advance to host Messiah College, a 73-50 winner over Kean University, in the second round on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
The Eagles' nations-best defense was on display from the opening tip, as UMW held Keuka to one point in the first 12:24 of the first half, and just six points in the half. The Storm shot 2-27 from the field, while the Eagles, led by Wimmer, shot 34%. Wimmer was 7-11 from the floor in the half, with two three pointers and six rebounds.
In the second half, UMW struggled mightily from the field, as Keuka started the half on a 10-0 run, and got the deficit down to four at 29-25 with 8:41 to play on a free throw from Jessica Bandrowski. The Eagles returned the lead to seven thanks to baskets from Wimmer and Aby Diop, but consecutive Storm baskets cut the deficit to three at 35-32 with 1:20 to go. Wimmer then put then game away with a jumper and a pair of free throws, giving UMW its 28th consecutive win, a new school record.
Wimmer was the lone Eagle in double figures, with no other player netting more than four points. Keuka was led by Mariah Mouzon's 11 points and 12 rebounds.
UMW shot 26% from the field (15-57), with 3-18 on three pointers and 6-9 from the free throw line. Keuka went 13-46 from the field with 1-16 on three pointers, and was 5-14 from the charity stripe. Keuka led in rebounds 42-41, but committed 18 turnovers.
In the first game, Messiah ran out to a 35-23 halftime advantage and outscored Kean by 11 in the second half for a 73-50 win. The Falcons were led by Dori Gyori's 17 points and 15 rebounds, while Katlyn Vanderhoff added 17 points and Nicky Hess 14. Messiah made 8-18 three pointers in the game, and went 23-30 from the free throw line. Kean was led by Maimah Clemons' 15 points and six rebounds.
The winner of Saturday's game will advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 next weekend.