Virginia Beach, Va. – Sophomore forward Christian MacAuley (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) and junior guard Devin Spencer (Baltimore, Md./Towson Catholic) combined for 32 points as the St. Mary's College of Maryland men's basketball team saw its 2011-12 campaign come to an end with a 70-57 loss to the No. 6 Virginia Wesleyan College Marlins in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship Tournament Saturday night.
St. Mary's ends the season with a 20-8 overall record after making its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance (third straight) and notching the program's fourth consecutive Capital Athletic Conference regular-season title.
MacAuley poured in a career-high 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including his ninth career three-pointer, to pace the Seahawks while adding eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Spencer finished the night with 11 points and two steals.
The Seahawks fell behind early as Virginia Wesleyan rolled out to a 10-2 lead in the first 2:29 as junior guard Chris Teasley (Newport News, Va./Menchville) scored seven of the team's 10 points. St. Mary's responded with a 12-3 run behind a combined eight points from MacAuley and Spencer to stake its last lead of the game at 12:46.
Virginia Wesleyan (26-3) went on a 15-3 run to take control of the game for good, leading 28-17 at 5:13 en route to a 30-20 halftime advantage.
MacAuley paced the Seahawks at the break with seven points and three boards while Teasley tallied nine first-half points to lead all players.
The Marlins stretched their 10-point halftime lead to 19 at the 10:46 mark of the second half but a 13-0 St. Mary's run quickly got the Seahawks back in the game as the lead dwindled to 46-40 at 7:53. The Seahawks closed the gap to seven three times after that but Virginia Wesleyan established a double-digit lead for the last 1:16 of the contest.
St. Mary's struggled in taking care of the ball, turning the ball over 26 times in the game, and shooting just 26.9% from the floor in the first half. Seahawk shooting was much improved in the second half as St. Mary's knocked down 45.4% of its shots in looking to close the gap with the Marlins.
Four players finished in double figures for Virginia Wesleyan with Teasley putting up a team-best 13 points and senior forward Ali Brown (Hampton, Va./Kecoughtan) contributing 12 points and game-high nine caroms.
The Seahawks now own an 8-4 record in four NCAA appearances.