FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — The Wesley College men’s basketball team had dreams of pulling off some upsets in the CAC Tournament.
And with a three-point lead late in regulation against third-seeded Mary Washington on Tuesday night, the third-seeded Wolverines certainly had a chance.
But the Eagles sank a clutch three with 6.7 seconds left in regulation and then held off Wesley, 92-91, in overtime in the Capital Athletic Conference quarterfinals.
Mary Washington built a 92-88 on a pair of free throws with four seconds left in OT before Wesley’s Anthony Bowers hit a three-pointer at the final buzzer.
The Eagles (15-11) play at second-seeded Salisbury on Thursday night in the conference semifnals.
The Wolverines, which won seven of its final 11 regular-season games to make the tourney, finishes the year at 10-16.
Junior forward John Lutkenhaus drilled the three-pointer that tied the contest at 77-77. Wesley missed a shot for the win at the regulation buzzer.
Five Wolverines scored in double figures: Wayne Lennon (17), Bowers (17), Rashan Brinkley (17), Jordan Johnson (15) and J. W. Lawson (15),
Four Eagles reached double-figures, led by T.J. Jones with 26 points.
In the first half, Wesley jumped to an early 17-9 lead at the 13:20 mark. The Eagles responded and tied the game at 21-21 with 9:24 left in the half.
The two teams exchanged buckets for the remaining of the half, before Jones drilled a three with 45 seconds left to give the Eagles a 34-31 lead heading into the break.
In the second half, the Eagles extended their lead to eight, their largest of the game, at the 15:49 mark on another three pointer from Jones.
Wesley answered and took the lead back with 11:16 remaining at 55-53. The Eagles and Wolverines traded leads several times until Wesley grabbed a 70-68 lead with 3:00 left.
Wesley could not extend their lead past three in the finals minutes, as free throw shooting from Mark Madison and Jones would keep the Eagles within distance. With 22 seconds left, Wesley hit two free throws to take a 77-74 lead.
The Eagles opened the extra frame with a four-point play from Madison. The Wolverines went on a 6-1 run that gave them their only overtime lead at 83-82 with 3:32 left. With 1:57 on the clock, Lutkenhaus hit another big shot, as he completed an old-fashioned three to give the Eagles the lead for good. Another layup from Madison and free throws from Eric Shaw and Haden Thompson helped clinch the victory at 92-91.
Mary Washington shot 45.9% from the field (28-61), making 9-24 three pointers and 27-33 free throws. Wesley shot 50.0% from the field (36-72), making 8-19 three pointers and 11-13 free throws. Wesley held a 41-30 advantage on the boards and committed 12 turnovers to UMW’s nine.
Jones led the Eagles in scoring with 26 points. Madison had 19 on 6-10 shooting. Lutkenhaus had 16 points, going 6-9 from the field, and pulling in a team-high eight boards. Shaw added 16 points, going 10-11 from the charity stripe.