No. 15 St. Mary's Men's Basketball Escapes Washington with Season-Opening Win

Deon Queen
Deon Queen

Chestertown, Md. – The No. 15 St. Mary's College of Maryland men's basketball team survived a scare on the Eastern Shore Tuesday night in the opening round of the Pride of Maryland Championship Tournament as the Seahawks pulled out a 78-74 triumph over host Washington College.

Senior guard Deon Queen (Pasadena, Md./Long Reach) led a group of four Seahawks in double digit scoring as Queen tallied 16 points off the bench by not missing a single shot in six attempts, including going 3-for-3 from downtown.  In his first game back after a year-long hiatus, senior forward Brian Grashof (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown) notched 13 points and added five rebounds.

The Seahawks (1-0) now advance Saturday's Pride of Maryland semifinals at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.  St. Mary's will take on host Johns Hopkins at 8:00 pm as Hopkins posted a 53-49 victory over Goucher College tonight.

The Washington Shoremen (0-1) earned a 42-41 halftime lead as Washington overcame a seven-point deficit in the final 7:11 of the first half with an 18-10 run that was sparked by a Sal Schittino (Ellicott City, Md.) jumper and capped by a 1-of-2 effort from the free throw line by senior guard Ryan Kearney (Glenolden, Pa.) with five seconds left in the half.

St. Mary's responded with a 20-11 push to start the second half, erasing the one-point setback and building an eight-point lead following a Queen three-pointer at 11:34.  The Shoremen kept the game interesting as Schittino's three-point shot ended a 12-5 run that pulled Washington within 66-65 less than three minutes later.

The Seahawks maintained the lead and held a five-point margin (75-70) with 1:12 remaining in regulation.  Senior forward Chris Olsen (Ellicott City, Md.) went 4-for-4 from the charity stripe in a six-second span to reduce St. Mary's advantage to 75-74 with 49 seconds left.  A dunk by sophomore captain Christian MacAuley (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) at the buzzer sealed the four-point win.

As a team, St. Mary's shot an impressive 63.6% from the floor in the second half to finish at a .540 clip for the game.  The Seahawks were also 7-of-15 from three-point range.

Junior captain Devin Spencer (Baltimore, Md./Towson Catholic) contributed 12 points and four assists while first-year Nick LaGuerre (Baltimore, Md./Lansdowne) added 11 points and seven rebounds.  Junior forward Jeff Haus (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) hauled in a game-best eight boards as the Seahawks boasted a 36-28 rebounding margin.