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Balanced Attack, Hot Shooting Leads UMW Men's Basketball Past Eastern Mennonite, 89-73, in Season Opener

Balanced Attack, Hot Shooting Leads UMW Men's Basketball Past Eastern Mennonite, 89-73, in Season Opener

Freshman forward Greg Rowson scored 21 points in his college debut, and senior Johnny Cronin scored a double double with 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead the University of Mary Washington men's basketball team to an 89-73 victory over Eastern Mennonite University on Tuesday night in the Eagles' season opener. Freshman Da'Shawn Cook and junior Mark Madison each scored 15 for the Eagles.

Mary Washington started hot and stayed that way for the opening 20 minutes, shooting 59% from the field (23-39), including 12-24 on three-point attempts. UMW opened up a 17-6 lead in the opening minutes, with three pointers from Madison (with two), junior A.J. Robinson, Cook, and Rowson. A slam dunk from Cronin capped the run. After two more triples from Rowson, a Khiorie Stewart basket extended the lead to 25-10 with 12:40 left before halftime.

After EMU trimmed the margin to 28-16 with 10:34 to go, Cronin made a layup before two more three pointers from Rowson upped the lead to 20 at 36-16, and a Cook basket extended to 38-16 with 8:34 left. Rowson connected for his sixth three pointer of the half to push the lead to 41-18, and Cook hit a long-distance basket and a jumper to move the lead to 48-20 with 6:22 remaining. The Royals ended the half on a 10-2 run to cut the halftime deficit to 58-40.

After Cook opened the second half with a basket, the Royals used a 10-0 run to cut the margin to 60-50 with 15:09 remaining. A Cronin basket and free throw moved the Eagle lead back to 63-50 with 12:56 left, and the Eagles slowly regained the substantial lead capped by a Robinson jumper with 7:43 to go to lead, 78-56. Rowson's seventh three pointer moved the lead to 24, and the Eagles held on the rest of the way for the 16-point victory.

Rowson made 7-9 shots, all from distance, to lead the way with 21 points, while Cronin also made 7-9 field goals en route to 17 points to go with 12 rebounds. Cook made 6-12 shots, including 3-5 threes, and Madison made 6-13 shots (5-8 three point tries) en route to their 15 points, respectively. Stewart scored nine and Robinson eight. Eastern Mennonite was led by Tim Jones' 13 points.

For the game, UMW shot 35-67 from the floor (52.2%), including 16-33 three pointers, and went 3-9 from the free throw line. EMU shot 28-58 (48.3%), going 7-17 on three pointers, and went 10-17 from the line. Each team had 33 rebounds.

The Eagles will return to action on Saturday when they host Guilford College at 7 pm as part of the Hyatt Place Tipoff Classic.