On Saturday March 16, the St. Mary’s Seahawks (27-3) added yet another inspiring victory to this seasons impressive repertoire. Five players scoring in double figures, and two racking up double-doubles accented the 84-66 victory over Morrisville State College on Saturday night in the third round of the 2013 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament.
During the game, junior guard Donn Hill (Aberdeen, Md.) posted his second double-double of the season, totaling a game-high 17 points and 11 rebounds. Meanwhile senior forward Jeff Haus (Pittsburgh, Pa.) sent a message to Morrisville State by recording his second double-double of the year as well, shooting 6-10 for 13 points and racking up 11 rebounds. Morrisville State’s only lead of the night was in the first two minutes; quickly dispatched by senior guard James Davenport (Baltimore, Md.), who had a season best 15 points, sophomore guard Nick LaGuerrre (Baltimore, Md.), who accounted for 14, and junior guard Brendan McFall (Poolesville, Md.) who rounded out the score sheet with 11 points.
After McFall drained a three-pointer early in the first half, our Seahawks went on a 26-12 run, leading at halftime 35-27. When all was said and done St. Mary’s posted a shooting ratio 20 percent higher than that of the Morrisville Mustangs, 51.7 percent to 31.7 percent. Helping that average was the Seahawks efficiency with three pointers, they were 8-of-16 rivaling Morrisville who only made 5-of-24.
That win added yet another notch in a belt to these Seahawks, who rivaled injuries, large deficits, and unimaginable time constraints, to stay at the number 11 spot over all in NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball. That win, not only set a school record for most wins in a season (27), the Seahawks accounted for 26 back in the 2009-2010 season, but it also sent the Seahawks to the Elite Eight, where they took on the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (26-5) Friday, March 22 at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, VA.
Unfortunately in Salem it was not to be, as Mary Hardin-Baylor made an impressive comeback led by guard Thomas Orr. Orr helped the Crusaders erase a 10-point second-half deficit to overtake the Seahawks 69-66. According to a post game press release, when asked about the loss Coach Chris Harney said that he felt we “did a great job”, and that it “just came down…to a couple of possessions.” Junior guards Brendan McFall and Donn Hill fought hard to keep the Seahawks in contact with the Crusaders’ final run, with Hill helping to retake the lead with only 1:47 left to play, and McFall tying the game again with only 1:18 left to play. Senior James Davenport, sophomore Nick LaGuerre, first year Troy Spurrier, and junior Donn Hill, accounted for a total of 50 points on the day, each with double figures when time expired.
While the Seahawks provided impressive stats, an unfaltering work ethic, and even a 16-7 run at one point, Mary Hardin-Baylor’s rebounding and high intensity scoring helped them surpass the Seahawks. However, this unfortunate close to this game should not overshadow the truly amazing season our Seahawks had. While we will be losing seniors, James Davenport, Jeff Haus, Devin Spencer and Therm James, the Seahawks look to next season with the hopes that they will bring home the NCAA Division III trophy.