No. 18 Seahawk Men's Basketball Smashes Wesley in CAC Championship
St. Mary's City, Md. – Four Seahawks scored in double figures as No. 18 St. Mary's College of Maryland made it look easy in repeating as the Capital Athletic Conference tournament champion with a convincing 97-65 victory over second-seeded Wesley College in front of 641 fans Saturday afternoon.
St. Mary's (22-5), the top seed in the CAC Tournament for the third year in a row, gained the conference's automatic bid to the 2011 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament. This year's bracket will be released at 1:00 pm on Monday, February 28 on www.ncaa.com. The Seahawks own a 4-2 record in two Sweet Sixteen trips (2008 and 2010).
The Seahawks picked up the program's fourth CAC title, having to go through Wesley (17-10) for the second consecutive time. Wesley now waits to hear if they will receive an at-large pool bid on Monday.
Senior center Sam Burum (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) notched game-highs of 20 points and seven rebounds in leading St. Mary's this afternoon as Burum was 8-of-10 from the field, including dropping a career-best two three-point field goals, while adding a career-high four assists.
Joining Burum in double digits were juniors James Davenport (Owings Mills, Md./Loyola Blakefield) and Mikey Fitzpatrick (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) with 13 points while senior guard Alex Franz (Catonsville, Md./Cardinal Gibbons) chipped in 12 points, four assists and four steals.
The Seahawks were slow out of gate, going 0-for-7 in the opening four minutes before sophomore guard Chris Hutchinson (Owings Mills, Md./New Town) stopped the drought with a layup at 16:19. Hutchinson then tied it up at 7-all with another layup at 14:35.
The teams traded baskets for the next four minutes before St. Mary's closed out the half on a 33-6 run over the final 10 minutes of the half to boast a 47-20 halftime advantage. The Seahawks were lights out after their 0-for-7 start, connecting on seven three-pointers. The run started with back-to-back long-range goals by Fitzpatrick and Burum and ended with three straight bombs from Davenport, Fitzpatrick and Burum's at the buzzer.
Burum finished with 18 first-half points as the Seahawks shot 53.1 percent, including 7-of-10 from downtown. After their 7-0 run to start the game, Wesley struggled and shot just 26.9 (7-26) percent from the field, including 1-of-7 from the long range.
Seahawk bench output came on strong in the second half, scoring half of the team's 50 second-half points to outscore Wesley's reserves, 41-28, for the game.
Senior Rudy Thomas (Milton, Del./Sussex Tech) paced the Wolverines with 19 points off the bench while sophomore forward Paul Reynolds (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) added 18 and team-best four caroms.