St. Mary's City, Md. – It came down to the last seconds in the extra period to determine the 2013 Capital Athletic Conference Champion Saturday afternoon. Sophomore guard Nick LaGuerre (Baltimore, Md./Lansdowne) came through for the No. 14 St. Mary's College of Maryland men's basketball team as LaGuerre drove in for the game-winning layup with 5.5 seconds on the clock, giving the Seahawks the 79-78 overtime win over Wesley College.
The win gives top-seeded St. Mary's (24-3) its fifth overall CAC title and fourth in six years. The Seahawks also garnered the conference's automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship Tournament. The NCAA tournament bracket will be announced Monday, February 25 at 12:30 pm on www.NCAA.com.
In the extra period, Wesley (20-7) outscored the Seahawks 8-4 to own a 77-73 advantage with 36 seconds left to go. LaGuerre then went 4-for-4 at the free throw line to bring St. Mary's within one at 00:15 after first-year Wayne Lennon (Whiteboro, N.J./Middle Township) made only one of the free throws. Junior guard Sean Hopkins (Georgetown, Del./Sussex Central) missed both free throws with 13 seconds left and senior guard James Davenport (Baltimore, Md./Loyola Blakefield) secured the rebound.
Davenport then dished it off to LaGuerre, who dribbled down the left side of the court for the game-winner. Senior forward Paul Reynolds' (Wilmington, Del./Smyrna) three-point attempt hit off the rim as time expired.
LaGuerre paced the Seahawks with 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including 3-of-6 from downtown, while junior guard Kyle Wise (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall) tallied a career-best 15 points off the bench with a career-high three long-range shots. Guards Donn Hill (Aberdeen, Md./Bel Air) and Brendan McFall (Poolesville, Md./Poolesville) each contributed 10 points in the win.
LaGuerre actually came up big for St. Mary's twice as his three-pointer with 12.7 seconds remaining in regulation capped a 9-1 run that erased an eight-point deficit and sent the game into overtime. Reynolds' jumper at the buzzer bounced off the rim.
Wesley, who struggled from the line with an 8-of-18 effort, now waits for Monday's bracket announcement to see if its season will continue. Reynolds was unstoppable for the Wolverines and finished with a game-high 27 points, including 17 in the second half, while being held to just one point in overtime.
Neither team could miss in the first half as Wesley shot nearly 62% to the Seahawks' 55.6% clip. The teams headed into the locker room in a 35-35 deadlock following Lennon's three-pointer at 00:45. Lennon led all scorers with 11 first-half points on 5-of-6 shooting.
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