St. Mary's men lose NCAA D-III quarterfinal to Mary Hardin-Baylor, 69-66

11th-seeded Seahawks fall again in Elite 8 as final shot bounces off rim

March 23, 2013|From Sun staff reports

St. Mary's squandered a 10-point lead Friday and lost, 69-66, to Mary Hardin-Baylor in the NCAA Division III men's basketball quarterfinals in Salem, Va.

The 11th-seeded Seahawks, who finished their season 27-4, setting a school record for victories, fell in the Elite Eight for the second time in the past three years.

Senior guard James Davenport (Loyola) led St. Mary's with 16 points, 11 of which came in the second half. Sophomore guard Nick LaGuerre (Lansdowne) and first-year forward Troy Spurrier (Glenelg) each had 12, and junior guard Donn Hill (Bel Air) added 10.

The Seahawks led for much of the game, but the Crusaders (26-5) pulled even at 62 when first-year player Layton Zinsmeister hit a 3-pointer on his only shot of the game.

St. Mary's went back on top when Hill hit a layup, but Mary Hardin-Baylor's Cory Meals responded at 1:47 with his second 3-pointer of the game to give the Crusaders a lead that they would not relinquish.

Junior guard Brendan McFall pulled the Seahawks within one at 1:18.

After rebounding a missed Crusaders 3-pointer with 37.3 seconds on the clock, the Seahawks brought the ball downcourt but were called for traveling with 9.1 on the clock.

Senior Mary Hardin-Baylor guard Thomas Orr hit two free throws with 4.9 seconds left for the final margin.

Zinsmeister slowed St. Mary's progress downcourt by fouling junior guard Kyle Wise (Calvert Hall) with 2.8 seconds to go. The Seahawks inbounded the ball to LaGuerre, whose last-second shot from the top of the key bounced off the front rim.

"I thought my guys did a great job," St. Mary's coach Chris Harney said. "It just came down at the end to a couple of possessions. I give all the credit to Mary Hardin-Baylor and the coaching staff, adjusting to what we were doing and their better shot selection changed the flow of the game."

Orr led Mary Hardin-Baylor with 26 points, and Kitrick Bell added 15points and 11 rebounds.

The Crusaders will face St. Thomas (Minn.) (30-1), the 2011 national champion, tonight at 6.

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