Sophomore guard Kendall Parker shattered her career high with 36 points, which was just two off the school single game record, to lead the 22nd ranked University of Mary Washington women's basketball team to a 77-63 win at #21 Christopher Newport University in the semifinals of the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament on Thursday night in Newport News, Va. Parker's eight three pointers set a new single game record, and advance the Eagles to the CAC Championship on Saturday at top-seeded Marymount University at 2:00 p.m.
The Captains opened the game on an 8-2 run over the first 4:25, but the Eagles used nine Parker points in an 11-5 spurt that tied the game at 13 with 2:01 remaining in the first. CNU would score the next four points, before Brianne Comden scored the last four of the frame to tie the score at 17-17 through 10 minutes.
In the second, the Eagles edged ahead, starting the period with a 9-0 run, including three pointers from Parker and Megan Green. UMW led, 26-17, with 6:02 left before intermission. The Eagle lead swelled to 10, 30-20, with 4:37 left, but the Captains responded with eight straight points to trim the score to 30-28 with 1:45 left.
Jordan Pamlanye hit a jumper, and after a CNU basket, Parker closed with five straight, as the Eagles raised the lead to seven, at 37-30, at halftime.
Elizabeth Dofflemyer hit three free throws to move the score to 40-30 in the opening minutes of the third. CNU cut the deficit in half, but Parker stopped the run with a three pointer with 5:11 left in thw quarter to give UMW a 45-37 advantage. The Captains connected on three free throws down the stretch to trim the margin to 52-46 heading to the fourth quarter.
In the final 10 minutes, the Captains tried several times to cut into the Eagle lead, but each time UMW hit a big shot to stem the tide. After CNU cut the deficit to 54-49, Green hit a three pointer to return the margin to eight, and after the hosts hit six straight points to cut the margin to two at 61-59 with 3:38 to go, Parker buried another three to push the lead back to five.
That three pointer was the first of eight straight UMW points scored by Parker, who capped the scoring with her eighth three of the game, setting a new school record previously held by three players (with seven).
Parker was 11-17 from the field, making 8-12 three pointers, and made all six of her free throws. Comden also reached double figures with 12 points on 6-8 shooting, and tied Sarah Listenbee for the team lead with six rebounds.
The Eagles shot 49% from the field (25-51), making 10-18 three pointers (55.6%) and 17-20 free throws. CNU shot 40% (20-50), including 4-18 three pointers and 19-31 free throws. The Eagles held a 33-31 rebounding advantage, and the Eagles overcame 21 turnovers to capture the win and advancement to their 10th CAC championship game in the past 12 years.
The Eagles will visit Marymount University for the third meeting between the two schools this season on Saturday with tipoff set for 2:00 p.m. The Eagles won both meetings this season between the schools.