St. Mary's City, Md. – Career nights by junior guards Donn Hill (Aberdeen, Md./Bel Air) and Kyle Wise (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall) propelled No. 14 St. Mary's College of Maryland to an 89-81 victory Thursday night over University of Mary Washington in the semifinals of the 2013 Capital Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Championship Tournament.
The top-seeded Seahawks (23-3) now advance to Saturday's CAC championship game against second-seeded Wesley College (20-6), a 73-66 winner over third-seeded Salisbury University (19-8) in tonight's other semifinal matchup. Game time is 4:00 pm and will be played at home at the Michael P. O'Brien Athletics & Recreation Center Arena.
Hill poured in a career-high 21 points on an 11-of-13 effort from the free throw line while Wise put in a career-best 14 points off the bench. Sophomore guard Nick LaGuerre (Baltimore, Md./Lansdowne) contributed to the Seahawk win with 19 points and a game- and career-high eight rebounds while senior guard James Davenport (Baltimore, Md./Loyola Blakefield) chipped in season-highs of 14 points, four assists, and two steals.
The turning point of the back-and-forth game that featured 10 tied scores and seven lead changes came at the start of the second half. LaGuerre's three-pointer just 11 seconds into the final 20 minutes of the game initiated a 14-0 run that put Mary Washington behind 49-34 with 15:49 left in the game. The Seahawks owned a double-digit margin the rest of the way, stretching their lead to 18 twice – the last coming at 9:18 on a Davenport three-pointer.
The Eagles responded with a 15-5 run over a three-and-a-half minute span to close to within 74-66 with 5:05 remaining in regulation. UMW continued to claw its way back, cutting the lead seven three times in the final 2:30 of the contest. Junior guard Bradley Riester (Richmond, Va./Monacan) connected on a long three with 51 seconds on the clock for an 86-79 SMCM lead but the Eagles would get no closer.
Mary Washington's 2012-13 campaign comes to a close with an overall record of 14-13. Junior guard Dylan Farinet (Westmoreland, Va./Colonial Beach) paced Mary Washington with a game-high 25 points on 4-of-5 shooting from downtown as well as a game-high eight boards. Riester finished with 17 points while sophomore guard Taylor Johnson (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) added 14 points and eight caroms off the Eagle bench.
It was back-and-forth in the first half but St. Mary's headed into the locker room with a 35-34 advantage. The Seahawks broke a 28-28 draw with a 6-0 run to take the lead with 2:43 left in the half; however Mary Washington closed out the half on a 6-1 run to only be down one at intermission. Farinet led all scorers with 15 points.
Twitter: http://twitter.com/smcseahawks, #SeahawkNation