San Juan, P.R. – It was a tale of two halves Monday afternoon as the St. Mary's College of Maryland men's basketball team squandered a 20-point second half lead and dropped a 63-61 non-conference decision to No. 19 The College of Wooster in the Seahawks' final game at the Puerto Rico Division III Classic.
Junior guard Devin Spencer (Baltimore, Md./Towson Catholic) stretched St. Mary's (8-3) lead to 20 at 19:29 in the second half as Spencer connected on one of his four three-point field goals. Wooster (6-2) responded with a 12-0 run to close the gap to 42-34 but the Seahawks reestablished a double-digit advantage.
The Fighting Scots, last year's national runners-up, garnered their first lead of the game with 1:37 remaining in regulation as senior guard Matt Fegan (Strongsville, Ohio) knocked down his first and only shot of the game – a three-pointer – to give Wooster a 58-56 lead.
Junior guard Christopher Hutchinson (Owings Mills, Md./New Town) answered for the Seahawks as Hutchinson tied up the game just 16 seconds later. Wooster's junior Josh Claytor (Oxford, Ohio) converted on an old-fashioned three-point play to put the Scots up 61-58 at 1:03. Hutchinson made two free throws at 55.3 to pull within one. Wooster went 2-of-4 from the line in a 21-second span for a 63-61 lead.
The Seahawks called a timeout with 8.5 seconds left to set up a play for Spencer. He fired up a heavily contested three-point shot that hit the basket but was off the mark as time expired. Spencer finished the afternoon with 15 points while Hutchinson tallied 14 points and game-bests of nine rebounds and five steals before fouling out with 34.2 ticks.
Thanks to 57.7% shooting from the field, including a 5-of-10 effort from downtown, St. Mary's boasted a 39-22 halftime advantage as the Fighting Scots shot a dismal 23.1%, only making one three-point shot in 11 tries.
The tables were turned in the second half as Wooster's shooting improved greatly to nearly 60%, including a 5-of-8 effort from behind the arc. The Fighting Scots also won the battle of the glass with a 40-29 rebounding margin. Wooster's scoring leader was Claytor with 16 points while senior forward Justin Hallowell (Columbus, Ohio) added 10 points and seven boards.
St. Mary's will look to rebound on Wednesday, December 28 as the Seahawks welcome Guilford College (8-2) to the Michael P. O'Brien Athletics & Recreation Center Arena for non-conference action at 7:00 pm.