The University of Mary Washington men's basketball team dug itself an early hole, sotrmed into the lead, and held on late to defeat the University of Lynchburg, 68-65, on Friday night at Ron Rosner Arena. The Eagles improve to 4-2 on the season.
Lynchburg jumped out to an early lead, thanks to strong long-range shooting, leading 21-8 with 7:38 left in the first half. Eight straight points from senior guard Anias Saunders cut the deficit to 21-16, and layups from Da'Shawn Cook and five straight points from senior guard Riley Welch gave the Eagles the lead at 23-21 with 2:38 remaining.
Senior guard Ra'Shawn Cook followed with two free throws and a three pointer, extending the Eagle lead to 28-21, and capping the 13-0 run. UMW held a 30-27 edge at halftime.
In the second half, the offenses came out strong, and Lynchburg knotted the score at 35-35 with 17:43 left. A 15-4 Eagle run followed, keyed by 10 points from Saunders, and UMW held a 50-39 advantage with 13:14 remaining.
Lynchburg answered with a 12-3 run to cut the margin to 53-51, and briefly took the lead on a layup and three pointer, at 59-55. A Da'Shawn Cook three and a Ra'Shawn Cook layup gave UMW a 60-59 lead, but Lynchburg gained the lead back on the next possession, and led, 61-60, with 2:16 remaining. A layup from sophomore Daniel Peterson with 1:11 left gave UMW a 64-63 edge, and a Saunders layup upped the Eagle lead to 66-63 with 21 seconds left.
After a Lynchburg basket, Peterson hit a pair of free throws with nine seconds left to provide the final tallies of the game.
Saunders led the Eagles with 26 points and added seven rebounds, while Da'Shawn Cook added 16 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Peterson had six rebounds to go with his four crucial points down the stretch.
UMW shot 44.6% from the field (25-56), making 12-30 three-point tries, and 6-7 free throws. Lynchburg shot 39.7% (25-63), making 10-26 three-point attempts and made 5-6 free throws. Lynchburg held a 38-34 edge in rebounding.
The Eagles will return to action on Monday, when they visit Randolph College at 7:00 p.m.