ASHLAND, Va. -- Senior guard Bradley Riester scored a game-high 22 points to lead Mary Washington to its first NCAA Tournament victory a 78-58 win against Springfield on Friday night in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Division III Tournament. The Eagles improve to 23-5 on the season.
"It was great to see a lot of friends and family in the stands", said Riester. "It felt like a home game environment, and that made us feel very comfortable."
The Eagles jumped ahead early, scoring the first seven points of the game on a pair of Dajon Daniel layups and a Riester 3-pointer. The Pride battled back, taking a 13-11 lead after a 13-4 run over a four-minute span.
From there, UMW responded with a 17-0 run during the next seven minutes, with Riester scoring 12 of the points on four 3-pointers. The Pride trimmed the deficit to seven at 35-28, with 18 seconds left in the half, but a pair of Dom Morra free throws with three seconds left gave the Eagles a 37-28 advantage at halftime.
Riester almost single handedly put the Eagles on his back in the first half, shooting 6-7 from the field, including a perfect 5-5 from three-point range to account for 17 points.
In the second, the Pride made several runs, but each time the Eagles came up with an answer offensively, primarily from freshman Asa Scott, who scored all eleven of his points in the second half to tie his career high. The Eagles lead was cut to eight at 61-53 with 4:49 remaining in regulation, but the Eagles used a pair of Scott three pointers followed by a Morra layup to up the lead to 17 at 70-53 with 1:49 left.
The Eagles closed the game on a 17-5 run, as junior Taylor Johnson capped the night by connecting on four free throws in the final minute.
Riester led all scorers with 22 points on 8-12 shooting, making 6-8 3-pointers, and also added five rebounds. Johnson scored 12 points, thank primarily to 7-8 free throw shooting, and Scott scored 11 points on 4-8 shooting with three 3-pointers. Morra recorded 14 assists, one shy of the school record, and added eight points and five rebounds. Senior Dajon Daniel scored nine points in a balanced Eagles attack.
UMW shot 46.3 percent from the floor for the game (25-54), making 12-29 3-pointers, and went 16-20 from the free throw line. The Eagles were outrebounded 35-25, but forced 19 Springfield turnovers while committing just six in the game.
Springfield shot 41.3 percent from the field, making 10-24 3-pointers, and went 10-13 from the charity stripe.