St. Mary's City, Md. – Senior captain Nicholas LaGuerre (Baltimore, Md./Lansdowne) powered the St. Mary's College of Maryland men's basketball team Wednesday night to the No. 1 seed and the program's sixth Capital Athletic Conference regular-season title. LaGuerre poured in game- and season-best 33 points in leading the Seahawks to an 88-78 win over Christopher Newport University.
With its 11th consecutive win, St. Mary's (19-4, 15-2 CAC) locked up the top seed and home-court advantage in next week's playoffs. The Seahawks will host the winner of Tuesday's first round game between the No. 4/5 seeds in next Thursday's semifinal round at 7:00 p.m.
St. Mary's, who ranked sixth in the first edition of the NCAA Division III Middle Atlantic Region rankings, will wrap up the regular season this Saturday, February 21st in Buena Vista, Virginia as the Seahawks face Southern Virginia University at 3:00 p.m. The first time around, SMCM posted a 70-66 win over Southern Virginia on January 10th.
LaGuerre shot 11-of-16 from the floor, including connecting on 6-of-8 from downtown, en route to his 33 points while adding seven rebounds and five assists. Junior captain Troy Spurrier (Mt. Airy, Md./Glenelg) contributed 12 points while junior guard Tanner Brooks (Baltimore, Md./St. Paul's School) tallied 10 points, game-best nine boards, and six assists.
The Seahawks dominated Christopher Newport in the paint with a 40-26 scoring margin while also controlling the glass with a 36-24 rebounding margin. As a team, St. Mary's shot over 60% from the field for the third time this, including making a season-best nine triples for a season-high 64.3-three-point field goal percentage.
First-year guard Logan Miller's (Manassas, Va./Highland School) triple with 30 seconds left in the first half cut the Captains' deficit to 43-41 at halftime, completing a 12-6 run in nearly four-and-a-half minutes to erase an eight-point lead by St. Mary's.
LaGuerre dropped 21 in the first half to lead all scorers at intermission while senior guard Mike Cherry (Lewiston, N.C./Bertie) notched 10 to pace CNU.
Christopher Newport couldn't maintain its momentum at the start of the second stanza and the Seahawks stretched their two-point lead to 55-45 at 13:32, never looking back from that point on.
Cherry finished with team-best 22 points while sophomore guard Kevin Regimbal (Midlothian, Va./James River) added 13 and first-year guard Aaron McFarland (Richmond, Va./Massaponax) fouled out with 11. Sophomore guard Rayshard Brown (Norfolk, Va./Portsmouth Christian) rounded out the double-digits scoring for the Captains with 10 off the bench.
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