Harrisonburg, Va. – The St. Mary's College of Maryland men's basketball team succumbed to their first loss of the season, dropping an 82-80 squeaker to Eastern Mennonite University Sunday evening on the final day of the Loyal Royals Tip-Off Classic hosted by EMU.
Five Seahawks scored in double figures as St. Mary's (1-1) shot 41.3% from the floor and 93.3% from the free throw line. Junior captain Troy Spurrier (Mt. Airy, Md./Glenelg) led the way with 17 points (10 came in the first half) while junior guard Tanner Brooks (Baltimore, Md./St. Paul's School) tallied 15 points and six rebounds. Both Spurrier and Brooks were named to the All-Tournament Team.
The game featured seven tied scores and four lead changes. Senior captain Lee Jordan, Jr. (Baltimore, Md./Baltimore Free Academy) helped the Seahawks regain a 55-53 lead with a layup at 12:19. St. Mary's held off the Royals and owned a six-point (77-71) advantage with 3:11 remaining in regulation.
However, St. Mary's was called for two technical fouls at 2:45 and senior guard James Williams (Capitol Heights, Md./Archbishop Carroll) made all four free throws for the two technical fouls, bringing Eastern Mennonite within 77-75 before a jumper by senior center David Falk (Madison, Va./Madison County) and a dunk by senior Ryan Yates (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) put EMU up 79-77 at the 2:08 mark.
Both sides went scoreless for nearly two minutes until Williams added two more free throws to give the Royals a three-point lead with 16 seconds on the clock. Brooks connected on a three-pointer with nine seconds left to cut the deficit to one.
Williams went 1-of-2 at the line for a two-point EMU lead at the 0:08 mark. St. Mary's went for the tie as time expired but junior guard Donya Jackson's (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall) was off the mark. Jackson finished with a double-double on game-best 13 rebounds and 10 points while first-year guard Delaszo Smith (Baltimore, Md./Annapolis) added 13 points (11 in the first half) and Jordan contributed 10.
In the first half, Eastern Mennonite jumped out to a 17-9 advantage before the Seahawks used a 12-3 run that was sparked by a Smith three-pointer, to stake their first lead of the game at 11:17. The two sides traded leads again under five minutes to go following a 10-4 run to overcome a 30-25 deficit. The Royals boasted a four-point lead at the 1:17 but Jordan and Smith sent St. Mary's into halftime tied 42-42.
Yates, the tournament MVP, led Eastern Mennonite to its 2-0 start with a game-high 19 points while Falk, an All-Tournament Team selection, recorded a double-double on 15 points and 10 boards.
The Seahawks will be back in action on Wednesday, November 19 as St. Mary's remains on the road and heads to Doylestown, Pa. to take on Delaware Valley College in non-conference action at 8:00 p.m.
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