Salisbury, Md. – Junior guard Tanner Brooks (Baltimore, Md./St. Paul's School) sank a pair of free throws with seven seconds on the clock to propel the St. Mary's College of Maryland men's basketball team to a come-from-behind 68-67 Capital Athletic Conference victory over the host Salisbury University Sea Gulls Wednesday night.
Tonight's win was St. Mary's (12-4, 9-2 CAC) fourth in a row and gave the Seahawks sole possession of first place in the conference as both Marymount (Va.) University (14-4, 8-3 CAC) and Christopher Newport University (13-5, 8-3 CAC) suffered losses on the night. Marymount and Christopher Newport are now tied for second in the standings.
St. Mary's will be back on the court this Saturday, January 31st, traveling to Middletown, Pa. to take on Penn State Harrisburg at 3:00 p.m. The Seahawks picked up an 85-65 win over Harrisburg in the New Year on January 3rd behind 16 points from junior captain Troy Spurrier (Mt. Airy, Md./Glenelg).
Junior forward Kyle Savercool's (Silver Spring, Md./Good Counsel) two free throws stretched the lead to 13 for Salisbury (11-7, 7-4 CAC) at 14:27 of the second half. That would be the last time the Sea Gulls owned a double-digit advantage as St. Mary's erased the 13-point deficit with a 19-5 run in a span of over seven minutes to stake its first lead of the night, 52-51.
Salisbury (11-7, 7-4 CAC) regained a 58-52 lead with six straight points in a minute-and-a-half. A three-pointer by senior captain Nicholas LaGuerre (Baltimore, Md./Lansdowne) plus an And 1 by first-year forward Marsalis Hurley (Cheltenham, Md./Frederick Douglass) put the Seahawks back on top by two at 4:06.
From then on, the two sides traded leads with SU staking a 67-66 edge on pair of free throws by junior forward Wyatt Smith (Abingdon, Md./John Carroll) with 16 seconds left before Brooks' free throws sealed the win nine seconds later. Salisbury called a timeout after Brooks connected but could not generate any shots. Brooks ended the game with nine points and three caroms – all in the second half.
LaGuerre finished the night with game-best 20 points in helping the Seahawks to a 22-of-24 effort at the line with an 8-of-9 performance. Spurrier contributed 14 points while Hurley grabbed a team-best seven boards and chipped in six points.
Following a subpar shooting performance in the first half, St. Mary's more than doubled its field goal percentage and shot a blistering 65.0% in the second stanza on 13-of-20 from the field to outscore the Sea Gulls 45-32 over the final 20 minutes.
Salisbury controlled the first half and earned a 35-23 halftime advantage. The Sea Gulls connected on nearly 54% of their shots and never trailed in the half, dominating the paint by a 24-12 margin. Sophomore guard Justin Witmer (Rockville, Md./Magruder) led all scorers at intermission with 14 in 16 minutes while LaGuerre paced his team with six.
The loss snapped a three-game win streak for Salisbury and put the Sea Gulls in a two-way tie for fourth with Wesley College (9-9, 7-4 CAC). Witmer and Smith shared scoring honors with LaGuerre as the duo also finished with 20 points each while Smith hauled in a game-high 12 rebounds for a double-double.
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