York, Pa. – It was déjà vu for the St. Mary's College of Maryland and York College of Pennsylvania men's basketball teams Wednesday night as the Seahawks used a dominant second half to upend host York, 78-55, in Capital Athletic Conference action to complete the series sweep.
St. Mary's (16-4, 13-2 CAC) picked up its eighth win in a row tonight to maintain the top spot in the CAC standings, holding a half-game lead on Marymount (Va.) University (18-4, 12-3 CAC). The Seahawks, who rank sixth in the first edition of the NCAA Division III Middle Atlantic Region rankings, needed to overcome a halftime deficit against the Spartans for the second time this season and did it in grand fashion again.
In the first meeting between these two teams at the Michael P. O'Brien Athletics & Recreation Center Arena on January 21st, the Seahawks erased a nine-point setback at intermission by outscoring York, 43-15, in the second half.
Tonight, York (4-18, 3-12 CAC) once again came out of the gates strong and staked a 29-27 halftime advantage before the Seahawks shot a blistering 72.7% (16-of-22) in the second half for a season-best field goal percentage (in a half) en route to outscoring the hosts by a 51-26 margin over the final 20 minutes.
Senior captain Nicholas LaGuerre (Baltimore, Md./Lansdowne), this week's CAC Player of the Week for the second straight week, stretched his streak of 20-point games to six with game-best 21 points while leading the team in rebounding for the first time this season with five boards. Junior guard Tanner Brooks (Baltimore, Md./St. Paul's School) added 14 points, game-best five assists, and four caroms.
Junior captain Troy Spurrier (Mt. Airy, Md./Glenelg) and first-year guard Delaszo Smith (Baltimore, Md./Annapolis) also scored in double digits for St. Mary's with Spurrier notching 13 points and Smith finishing with 11 off the bench.
York turned around a 5-3 deficit at 17:01 into a 19-11 advantage on a layup by first-year forward Blayde Reich (Lebanon, Pa./Lebanon). The Spartans held on for a two-point lead at halftime despite a 9-for-9 showing at the free throw line by St. Mary's in the last six minutes and junior guard Garrett Snoops (Millersville, Md./Archbishop Spalding) netting the half's last four points to close the gap to 29-27.
Snoops was the leading scorer in the first half with seven while three Spartans tallied six points each and sophomore forward Dalton Myers (Finksburg, Md./Westminster) grabbed five first-half caroms to help York establish a 23-14 rebounding margin in the first 20 minutes.
The Seahawks opened up the second half with a 19-5 run and that was all she wrote as St. Mary's increased the 12-point lead at 14:33 to a 20-plus point advantage with 10:55 remaining in the game. SMCM was sent to the charity stripe 25 times in the final 20 minutes and the Seahawks made 16 to finish the game 26-of-37 at the line.
Myers ended the night with 12 points and six rebounds to lead the Spartans in their seventh straight loss while sophomore forward Evan Crosby (Honeoye Falls, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit) came off the bench for 11.
St. Mary's returns to action tomorrow evening as the Seahawks step out of conference play to face Alfred State SUNY College of Technology (5-18) in Alfred, N.Y. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.
Twitter: @smcseahawks, @SMCMHoops, #SeahawkAthletics