The University of Mary Washington women's basketball team rallied from a late deficit to tie the score in the closing seconds, but saw a last-second shot go against it in a 56-54 loss at Elizabethtown College on Friday night in the Eagles' 2018-19 season opener.
The Eagles climbed out to an early lead in the first quarter, using five points from senior Jordan Pamlanye and three from sophomore Kayla Sakyi grab a 10-3 lead. After five straight Blue Jay points, Sakyi added a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 12-8 after the first quarter.
A three point shot from Emily Thompson opened the second quarter scoring, and the teams traded baskets with sophomore Tory Martin adding a basket, as UMW led, 17-10, with 7:51 left before halftime. After Elizabethtown cut the margin to 19-15, Pamlanye added a basket to push the Eagle lead to 21-15 with 2:12 remaining. Madison Shifflett added a bucket with 44 seconds left, but a late three pointer cut the Eagle lead to 24-20 at halftime.
After a pair of Blue Jay free throws to open the third quarter, Thompson hit another three pointer, but a 9-0 run gave Elizabethtown the lead at 29-27 with 5:25 left in the quarter. A layup from senior Meghan Comer and another Thompson three gave the Eagles a 32-29 lead with 4:27 remaining, but a late 6-0 run returned the lead to the home team, 39-37, following three quarters of play.
The teams traded baskets to open the fourth before Thompson registered her fourth three pointer of the night to give the Eagles a 42-41 lead. Elizabethtown then went on a 7-0 run to take a 48-42 lead with 5:19 left, but Thompson came up with another big triple to keep UMW to within striking distance.
Elizabethtown hit a pair of free throws with 1:34 remaining to take a 52-48 lead, but a three-point play from Pamlanye cut the margin to 52-51 with 21 seconds left. After Elizabethtown made a pair of free throws to take a 54-51 advantage, Thompson connected once again from long distance to knot the score with 14 second left. The Blue Jays missed a three point attempt in the waning seconds, but an offensive rebound went to Veronica Christ, who passed to Roni Isenberg who sank the last shot as the final buzzer sounded.
Thompson led the Eagles with 20 points on 7-18 shooting, including 6-12 three point tries, while Pamlanye added 12 on 4-7 shooting from the field. The Eagles shot 26.4% from the floor (19-72), making 6-22 three point attempts, and 10-18 free throws. Elizabethtown shot 27.7% (18-65), making 4-15 three pointers and 16-21 free throws. The Eagles led in rebounds, 58-45, while Elizabethtown committed 12 turnovers to 18 for the Eagles.
Mary Washington will be back in action next Friday when they host William Peace University at 7 pm as part of the Hyatt Place Tipoff Tournament.