Senior guard Katie Wimmer scored 15 points, and classmate Jenna McRae added 14 to pace the seventh-ranked University of Mary Washington women’s basketball team to a 50-46 win over visiting York College to claim the 2012 Capital Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday, February 25 at the William M. Anderson Center. The Eagles improved to 27-0 on the year, tying the school record for consecutive wins with 27, and gained an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Eagles, in much the same way they played Thursday night in the CAC semifinals, played from behind throughout much of the first half, trailing by as many as six on two occasions. But a late 4-0 spurt gave UMW the lead at 24-23 at halftime, punctuated by a McRae three pointer.
In the second half, the lead changed hands five times before UMW took the lead at 34-33 with 9:50 remaining on a three-point basket by Sarah Jones. The Eagles then used a jumper by McRae and a layup from Aby Diop to build the lead to five, at 38-33, with 7:43 to play. York responded with a pair of buckets to cut the deficit back to one at 40-39 with 4:20 to play.
Baskets by McRae and Wimmer built the lead back to five at 44-39 with 3:18 to go. The Spartans were able to cut the deficit to one at 47-46 with 26 seconds left, but McRae hit a free throw, and Aby Diop carmoed the second shot miss off a York player to keep possession for UMW. Wimmer sank a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left to clinch the title for UMW, their fourth in the past six years.
Wimmer made four field goals and went 7-8 from the line en route to 15 points, and added five assists, three rebounds, two blocks, and two steals. McRae went 6-13 from the field, and added eight rebounds for the Eagles. Sophomore point guard Sam Partonen led UMW with 10 rebounds.
The Eagles shot 36.5% from the floor, making 2-12 three pointers, but went 10-14 from the free throw line. York shot 34%, with 3-14 three pointers, with a 9-11 effort from the stripe. UMW led in rebounds, 40-28, and forced 13 Spartan turnovers.
UMW advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in the past eight years.