Arlington, Va. – Marymount University's women's basketball team won the 2013 Capital Athletic Conference Championship with a 53-42 victory over rival Mary Washington on Saturday afternoon. The Saints title is the 12th in program history, more than double than the next representative with five.
Marymount (23-4) advances to the NCAA Tournament for the 17th time in program history. The Saints last won the CAC and advanced to the national stage in 2010 en route to a Sweet 16 run. In all, the Saints have reached one Final Four, one Elite Eight and seven Sweet 16s.
Senior captain Katelyn Fischer led the Saints with a game-high 18 points to propel the Saints to the championship. She added five steals and four assists, both game-highs as well.
Fellow senior Tynisha parks nearly recorded a double-double with eight points and 14 rebounds despite missing the final 17 minutes of the opening frame with foul trouble. Freshman Miranda Krott hauled in nine boards for the Blue and White in the post.
Separated by just 56 miles and an hour ride down I-95, both fan bases packed the Verizon Sports Arena for a raucous atmosphere that exploded from the opening tip to the final buzzer. Marymount struck first as Aileen Maknati hit a three-pointer on the Saints first possession before UMW (20-7) responded with a 10-0 run to lead 10-3 just three minutes in.
Two more ties and four lead changes highlighted the first half as both teams battled for the upper hand. Marymount led by as many as four in the frame, up 21-17 with five minutes to play, before the Eagles posted a 6-0 run capped by a Sam Partonen three-pointer to regain the lead up 23-21 with 1:35 remaining. The Saints would tie things up on the next possession with a pair of free throws from Anna Lies to take a 23-23 draw into the break.
Coming out of halftime, both teams traded leads through the first seven minutes of the frame before an old fashioned three-point play from Krott sparked a 7-0 MU run to lead 40-33 with just under 10 minutes to play. The Eagles would keep things close, putting within four down 43-39 at the 4:20 mark on an Amanda Witmer layup. Marymount responded with eight unanswered points, all on the free throw line, over the next three minutes and closed out the game on a 9-3 run to seal the championship.
Partonen led Mary Washington with 13 points.
Marymount returns to action in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 1. The location and opponent will be announced on Monday, February 25, at 2:30 p.m. and streamed on ncaa.com.