Mary Washington upends Messiah
Eagles continue perfect season, advance to round of 16
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. -- Senior Jenna McRae scored a game-high 20 points and freshman Amanda Witmer scored a career-high 10 off the bench to lead No. 7 Mary Washington to a come-from-behind 53-50 win against Messiah on Saturday in the second round of the NCAA tournament at the Anderson Center. With the win, the Eagles extend their perfect record to 29-0 and the longest win streak in school history, and will advance to the round of 16 on Friday.
Mary Washington jumped out to an early lead at 6-2 in the opening minutes thanks to layups from McRae, Carol Dye, and Aby Diop, but Messiah answered with a 5-0 run to take the lead at 7-6 with 15:09 remaining. The lead changed hands twice more before the Falcons ran off a 15-2 run to grab a 25-12 lead with 5:25 left in the half. The Falcons stretched the lead to as many as 14 at 30-16 before baskets by Dye and senior Katie Wimmer cut the halftime deficit to 10 at 30-20.
In the second half, Messiah upped its lead to 12 at 34-22 with 17:36 remaining, before UMW ran off a 13-1 spurt to cut the deficit to one at 36-35 with 10:32 remaining. Witmer, who had scored just 32 points in UMW's first 28 games, provided a layup with 8:03 remaining to give UMW the lead, and added a free throw on the three-point play to move UMW's margin to 40-38.
Messiah's long-range shooting brought them back to take a 42-41 lead on a Taylor Miller with 6:19 left. Witmer answered with a three to give the lead back to the Eagles, who upped the lead to four at 48-44 with 1:55 to go on a pair of McRae free throws. A pair of 3-pointers from Nicky hess gave the Falcons the leads at 50-49 with 1:03 to play, but McRae scored a layup with 40 seconds remaining and added a pair of free throws with seven seconds left for the win.
The Eagles shot 42 percent from the field for the game (18-43), while limiting Messiah to 37 percent (20-53), including 33 percent in the second half. UMW won the rebound battle, 35-30, and blocked five shots, including three from Dye inside.