Fredericksburg, Va. – The final score of today's Capital Athletic Conference women's basketball matchup between St. Mary's College of Maryland and the nationally-ranked University of Mary Washington Eagles is not reflective of the tremendous effort displayed by the Seahawks as Mary Washington pulled out a 66-48 victory in the final eight minutes of the contest.
Mary Washington (20-0, 11-0 CAC), who is ranked ninth in the USA TODAY ESPN Top 25 and 11th in the D3hoops.com Top 25 polls, used a 12-3 run late in the second half to expand a 42-41 lead at 8:53 and pose its first double-digit lead of the game at 5:15 following senior guard Jenna McRae's (Springfield, Va./Annandale) three-pointer for a 54-44 Eagle advantage.
The Eagles closed out the final four minutes of the contest by outscoring St. Mary's, 12-4, as senior guard Katie Wimmer (Vienna, Va./James Madison) tallied seven points in the run to help Mary Washington remain undefeated on the season.
The game featured seven lead changes and three tied scores as St. Mary's (8-12, 6-5 CAC) played 32 minutes of solid basketball to push the Eagles against the ropes. The Seahawks scored a season second-best 25 points in the first half against the top 10 team. The most first-half points given up by Mary Washington this season is 26 to Shenandoah and Christopher Newport Universities.
Sophomore Raven Owens (Arnold, Md./Severn School) paced the Seahawks in scoring for the eighth time this season as Owens tallied 19 points (13 in the first half) on 5-of-10 shooting from downtown and 4-of-4 from the free throw line. For the third time this season, junior forward Joanna Murray (Reisterstown, Md./Franklin) pulled down a season-best seven rebounds.
The Eagle defense limited St. Mary's to just six field goals in the first half but five of those field goals came from behind the three-point line while the Seahawks were a perfect 8-for-8 from the foul line to maintain pace with Mary Washington the entire first half as the Eagles posted a 27-25 halftime lead.
Sophomore guard Aura Payne (Glen Burnie, Md./Severn School) gave St. Mary's its biggest lead of the game, 15-11, at 9:15 with her only three-point shot of the game. Mary Washington erased the four-point deficit with a 16-5 run to stake a 27-20 advantage at 2:15 before five straight points by the Seahawks sent UMW into the locker room with just a two-point lead.
The Seahawks will be back in action on Wednesday, February 1 when St. Mary's welcomes York College of Pennsylvania (15-3, 9-1 CAC) to the Michael P. O'Brien Athletics & Recreation Center Arena for a CAC game at 6:00 pm. York recorded a 62-45 win on December 7 despite 17 points from sophomore forward Shana Lewis (Bowie, Md./Bowie).