The University of Mary Washington men's basketball team defeated Eastern University, 66-64, on Sunday afternoon in the Hyatt Place Tipoff Championship in Fredericksburg, VA. The Eagles improve to a perfect 4-0 record.
In the early going, the two teams got off to a blazing start as they combined for 20 points in the first three minutes. The Eagles held an 11-9 advantage as consecutive three-pointers by Trey Barber and Drew Johnson put them ahead. After Eastern took a lead change, Greg Rowson tied the game up at 15 a piece with 13:33 left in the half.
A Riley Welch jump shot put the Eagles ahead, 22-19, with 7:29 to play. UMW scored the next eight points, five from Johnson and two from Anias Saunders, to give the Eagles a double-digit lead at 30-19. After Eastern cut the lead to seven, Welch knocked down a three-pointer and a jumper to put UMW back up 12, 39-27. Barber gave the Eagles a 12 point advantage, 41-29, going into the locker room as he gathered a rebound and put the ball back up before time expired.
Eastern came out of the half ready to play as they went on a 12-2 run to cut the lead to within two points in the first 5:08 of the second half. Greg Rowson gave UMW a 52-45 lead with 10:14 to play as he knocked down a pair of free throws. Eastern kept fighting to make this a tough battle until the end as they got back within just one point, 52-51, with 8:55 remaining.
Rowson stretched the lead back out to six, 59-53, as he nailed a jump shot with 5:32 to play. From there, Eastern went on a 7-0 and took their first lead of the second half with just under three minutes left in the game.
Rowson then made a huge three-pointer on an assist from Johnson to put the Eagles back ahead by two points. An Eastern free throw put the game within one again, but Rowson knocked down another three-pointer on another assist from Johnson to put UMW ahead by four, 65-61, with 1:57 left. Cook made a free throw with 1:05 left to put the Eagles ahead by five. Eastern again kept the pressure on as they converted a three-point play to draw within two, 66-64, with 34 seconds left. After Eastern recorded a block, they called a timeout to draw up a play with 6.9 seconds remaining. UMW shut that whole play down and Eastern did not record a shot, and the Eagles held on to win 66-64.
Rowson led the team with 18 points off the bench. Johnson recorded another double-double as he had 13 points and 12 rebounds. Welch pitched in 11 points, and Da'Shawn Cook added 10 points.
The Eagles shot 23-60 (38.3%) from the field, 11-29 (37.9%) from three-point range, and 9-15 (60.0%) from the free throw line. UMW dished out 14 assists and had 12 steals.
Johnson was named the MVP of the tournament and Barber was named to the All-Tournament Team.
UMW will be back in action on Wednesday as they will travel to Bridgewater for a game at 7 p.m.