Chester, Pa. – A dominant second half propels the St. Mary's College of Maryland men's basketball team to their third consecutive victory Saturday afternoon as the Seahawks handed host Widener University a 60-46 setback in non-conference action.
For the seventh time this season, senior captain Nicholas LaGuerre (Baltimore, Md./Lansdowne) led the Seahawks as well as all of the game's scorers in scoring with 18 points while junior guard Tanner Brooks (Baltimore, Md./St. Paul's School) came off the bench to contribute 16 points, including eight in the run that turned the game around for St. Mary's in the second half, and four steals.
St. Mary's (5-3) outscored the Pride, 27-11, in the second half to erase a 35-33 halftime deficit. Both sides struggled shooting-wise at the start of the half but Widener, who received votes in this week's D3hoops.com Men's Top 25, opened up on a modest 4-2 run for its final lead of the game, 39-35 at 13:43 as senior forward Greg Lawson (Mt. Holly, N.J./Medford Tech) scored all four points for the Pride.
The Seahawks took over when Brooks sparked a 17-3 run with an old-school three-point play at 11:42 and then junior captain Troy Spurrier (Mt. Airy, Md./Glenelg) capped the run for a 10-point lead at 4:39 with a layup on a second chance opportunity as first-year forward Marsalis Hurley (Cheltenham, Md./Frederick Douglass) extended St. Mary's possession with his second straight rebound.
Widener (9-3) closed the gap to seven on a three-pointer by senior guard Mark Pryzbylkowski (New Egypt, N.J./Castleton State) but St. Mary's ended the game on an 8-1 run for the win as Brooks scored six of the Seahawks' last eight points.
Two Pride members collected double-doubles as Lawson paced his squad with 14 points and game-best 15 rebounds while first-year guard Sardayah Sambo (Middletown, Del./Middletown) added 10 points and a dozen caroms.
LaGuerre tallied 12 of his 18 points in the first half as he shot 4-of-9 from the field while Sambo led Widener to the 35-33 halftime lead as he scored all 10 of his points in the first 20 minutes and grabbed five boards. The Seahawks jumped out to a 17-10 lead at 13:42 before Widener responded with a 22-8 run over a six-minute span to reclaim a seven-point lead and then held on for the two-point halftime lead.
St. Mary's will not return to the court until the New Year arrives and then the Seahawks will welcome Penn State Harrisburg to the Michael P. O'Brien Athletics & Recreation Center Arena on Saturday, January 3rd for a Capital Athletic Conference matchup at 4:00 p.m.
Twitter: @smcseahawks, @SMCMHoops, #SeahawkAthletics