The 21st/24th ranked University of Mary Washington women's basketball team dropped a 58-53 decision to visiting Virginia Wesleyan University on Friday night in the Hyatt Place Tipoff Tournament at Ron Rosner Arena. The Eagles slip to 0-2 on the season.
The Eagles came out strong to build an early 6-0 lead. The Marlins cut into the deficit, with a three pointer tying the score at 8-8 with 2:05 left. A Madison Shifflett three pointer returned the lead to the Eagles, but the Marlins scored the final three of the quarter to tie the score at 11-11 after one.
The Eagles struggled in the second, connecting on a pair of field goals, while the Marlins edged ahead. The Marlins led by as many as eight, at 22-14, with 1:16 remaining before halftime, but a jumper from freshman Claire Mocarski trimmed the deficit to six at intermission, 22-16.
Both offenses opened up in the third quarter. After VWU extended the lead to as many as 10, UMW battled back with an 8-0 run to trim the deficit to two, at 30-28, with 5:28 left in the quarter. Senior Taylor Barton made a pair of interior shots in the run. After a Marlins three pointer returned the lead to five, the Eagles scored the next five, all by senior Kendall Parker, to tie the score for the fourth time in the game.
With the score tied at 37-37 with 1:47 left, the Marlins hit three free throws and a three pointer to grab a six point advantage, but Parker ended the frame with a pair of free throws to cut the margin to 43-39.
The Marlins extended the lead to 10 at 49-39 with 8:06 left in the fourth, but a pair of threes from parker and another from sophomore Emily Thompson cut the margin to 51-48 with 4:19 left. After a lengthy injury delay, a layup from McKenzie Jenkins and a free throw from Thompson tied the score once more with 1:29 left. After the teams traded baskets, Jayla Harris hit a three pointer for VWU, and after a miss and a turnover, the Eagles had another shot to tie, but the shot came up off the rim, and the Marlins connected on a pair of free throws to seal the decision, 58-53.
Parker led the Eagles with 20 points on 5-10 shooting from the floor and 7-8 from the free throw line. Barton had nine points on 4-4 shooting and added a game-high 13 rebounds. VWU was led by Harris' 18 points.
The Eagles will host Lehman College on Saturday at noon in the consolation final, while Va. Wesleyan will face Gettysburg in the championship at 2 p.m.