The University of Mary Washington women's basketball team dropped a 60-51 decision at top-ranked and undefeated Amherst in the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament on Saturday evening. The Eagles finish the year with a 24-5 overall record.
The Eagles came out strong defensively, as per usual, in the first quarter, as did the hosts, as the score stood at 9-6 after the first quarter in favor of Amherst. The Eagles made three interior shots, including a pair from Brianne Comden and another from Taylor Barton. The Purple and White connected on a pair of three pointers.
Amherst tried to build a lead in the second quarter, but the Eagles remained close as the offenses gained steam. After another three from the hosts raised the lead to 12-6, Kelsey Dean scored inside, Kendall Parker hit a pair of free throws, and Megan Green canned a three pointer to give UMW the lead at 13-12 with 6:34 left in the second stanza.
Three layups and a jumper returned the lead to Amherst at 20-13 with 4:20 to go, but Barton made another shot inside to return the deficit to five. Another triple from Amherst bult an eight-point cushion, and six straight points from the hosts after a pair of Comden free throws gave Amherst a 31-19 lead at intermission.
Comden opened the third with two more free throws, and the teams traded three point baskets, with Green hitting her second of the day, to push the score to 34-24 with 7:07 left in the third.
Amherst would connect on consecutive threes with 5:22 left, and led by 15, at 41-26, with 4:51 remaining. The lead swelled to 21 with a three pointer with 2:57 left in the frame. UMW cut into the deficit with a 9-4 run to close the third. Elizabeth Dofflemyer's three started the run, and her layup ended the quarter.
A three point play from Parker with 4:18 remaining trimmed the margin to 12, 53-41, and two buckets from Comden and another from Green got the Eagles to within eight, at 57-49, with 12 seconds left. Her layup with four seconds left cut the margin to seven, before two late Amherst free throws set the final.
UMW's nine-point defeat was just Amherst's fourth win of less than 10 points all season, as they improve to 29-0, and only their second at home.
Comden scored 14 points and Green scored 12 in the finale of their careers. Jaimie Renner led Amherst with 18.
The Eagles shot 19-53 from the field (35.8%), making 3-12 three pointers and 10-12 free throws. Amherst shot 19-58 (32.8%), making 10-35 three point tries and 12-22 free throws. UMW led in rebounds, 42-38.