St. Mary's City, Md. – First-year head coach Crystal Gibson and the St. Mary's College of Maryland women's basketball team opened up Capital Athletic Conference action with an 80-64 victory over Stevenson University Saturday afternoon to put a halt to their four-game skid.
Two starters finished in double digits for the Seahawks as sophomore forward Shana Lewis (Bowie, Md./Bowie) dropped a game-best 20 points while pulling down a team-best six rebounds. Sophomore guard Raven Owens (Arnold, Md./Severn School) tallied 14 as Owens was a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line.
St. Mary's (2-5, 1-0 CAC) never trailed in the contest and as a team, the Seahawks posted season-highs of 40.0% from the field and 82.4% from the charity stripe for the game while forcing Stevenson into 44 turnovers.
There was not much separation between the two teams in the first 11:37 of the game as the score tied was three times during that span. Stevenson's junior guard Sam Murray (Reisterstown, Md./St. Paul's) knotted it up for the third and final time with a layup before the Seahawks went on a 14-7 run to boast their biggest lead of the half of seven at 2:02 and then headed into the locker room with a 33-27 halftime lead.
Lewis and Owens paced all players at intermission with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
The Seahawks quickly pulled away in the second half as they started the stanza on an 18-2 run that was capped by sophomore Bridget Wilkins' (Washington, D.C./Washington Waldorf) layup at 14:21 to give St. Mary's an insurmountable 51-29 advantage. Stevenson (4-4, 0-2 CAC) could get no closer than a 14-point deficit the rest of the way.
After going 0-for-6 from the arc in the first half, St. Mary's turned it around in the second with a 4-of-6 effort as sophomore guard Aura Payne (Glen Burnie, Md./Severn School) connected on her both attempts.
In her first game back since injuring her foot on November 15, Payne finished with nine points off the bench while adding career-highs of eight steals and two three-pointers.
St. Mary's will continue league play on Wednesday, December 7 as the Seahawks travel to York College of Pennsylvania (6-1, 2-0 CAC). Tip-off is set for 6:00 pm.