January 16, 2013

Howland's Buzzer Beater Lifts UMW Women Past St. Mary's, 51-49

Sophomore forward Aubrey Howland corralled a loose ball at the top of the arc and her last-second desparation three pointer found nothing but net, as the University of Mary Washington women's basketball team topped St. Mary's College, 51-49, on Wenesday night at the Anderson Center. The Eagles improve to 11-5 overall and 4-1 in Capital Athletic Conference action, while the Seahawks fall to 8-7 and 2-3.

The teams traded the lead for much of the first half, with four ties and two lead changes in the opening nine minutes. SMC guard Pui Sham then hit three straight three pointers to give the Seahawks a 17-8 lead with 9:24 remaining, and a jumper by Marche Pearson upped the SMC advantage to 19-8 with 8:14 left.

Junior guard Sam Partonen then scored seven straight points to cut the deficit to 19-15 with 6:36 remaining, and the lead stayed at four until a layup and jumper by Joanna Murray gave the Hawks a 27-19 halftime lead.

UMW opened the second half with a 9-2 run to cut the deficit to one at 29-28 with 16:16 left, and the deficit ran back and forth from one to three for the next several minutes. The Eagles were finally able to tie the score at 41-41 with 9:14 to go, and took their first lead of the half at 45-43 on a Caitie Geoghegan layup with 6:46 left.

Sham hit a three pointer to give the Seahawks a 47-46 lead with 3:31 to go, and Partonen gave UMW a one-point advantage at 48-47 with 1:55 left. The Eagles held the lead until a Taylor Petrisko layup with 10 seconds left, as SMC led, 49-48. Partonen dribbled through the Seahawk press and came around to the foul line, where she lost control of the ball. Howland, standing behind Partonen at the three point line, caught the ball and shot in one motion, and the ball swished through the net as time expired, giving the Eagles the two-point win.

Partonen led the Eagles with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Howland scored 11 points and added three steals. Senior center Carol Dye had 15 rebounds for UMW. Sham led the Seahawks with 12.

UMW held an edge in shooting, 38% to 37.7%, and led in rebounds, 39-30. The Eagles will visit York College on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in another CAC matchup.