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#12 St. Mary's Rides Hot Shooting and Strong Rebounding to Victory in York

YORK, PA – The 12th ranked St. Mary's College men's basketball team rode hot shooting and a strong rebounding effort as the Seahawks downed the York College Spartans 84-51 in Capital Athletic Conference action on Saturday in York.

The Seahawks improve to 18-2 overall and 6-1 in the CAC while the Spartans fall to 7-12 overall and 2-5 in the conference.

The Seahawks jumped on the Spartans early, outscoring the Green and White 16-4 in the opening four minutes of the game. Devin Spencer powered the Seahawks start with a trio of three pointers. The Seahawks extended the lead to 24-12 as the visitors canned eight of their first nine shots of the game.

St. Mary's pushed the lead to a half-high of 19 on yet another Spencer triple as SMC led 33-14 midway through the half.

After St. Mary's took the 19-point lead, the Spartans outscored their guests 22-9 over the final 9:45 of the half to draw to within six, 42-36, at the break.  

The second half wouldn't be so kind to the Spartans as St. Mary's locked down the York offense while the Seahawk offense continued to click. While the long distance shooting gave St. Mary's the early lead, the Seahawks did their damage in the paint in the second half.

St. Mary's began the second 20 minutes with a 13-2 run and they never looked back. York got to within 15 early in the stanza but the Seahawk defense limited York to just 15 total points in the second half. York shot just 25% in the stanza as they suffered through their lowest scoring 20 minutes of the year.

Spencer and Nick LaGuerre powered the Seahawks with 18 points each. Spencer was 6-for-11 from the floor and 6-for-10 from three. LaGuerre was a sharp 7-for-9 from the floor including 3-for-5 from three while he made 1-of-2 from the stripe. Brendan McFall was the third Seahawk in double figures with 12 points in just 19 minutes. MacGyver Biniak powered the St. Mary's effort on the glass as he pulled in a game-high nine boards.

St. Mary's played 13 players and they all scored in the win.

Mitch Kemp (York, Pa./York Suburban) led the Spartans as he tossed in 17 points. Kemp was 5-for-8 from the floor including 4-for-7 from distance. He also made 3-of-4 from the line. Junior Mike Mathews (Newark, Del./Salesianum) added nine points and three assists. Junior Matt McNeely (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) led York on the glass with five rebounds in his 23 minutes of action.

The Seahawks finished the game shooting 49.2% from the floor while they went 13-for-23 (56.5%) from three. The 13 threes were a season-high for St. Mary's as the Hawks had been not shooting the ball well from deep lately. In their last five contests, St. Mary's was shooting a combined 25% (16-for-64) from beyond the arc.

York shot 40.9% from the field while they went 4-for-13 (30.8%) from three. York converted 11-for-19 (57.9%) from the free throw line in the loss.

St. Mary's hammered the Spartans on the glass as they finished with a 43-24 edge on the boards. The Seahawks collected 14 offensive rebounds while York had a season-low two offensive boards. St. Mary's ended the game with a 13-0 margin in second chance points while they also had a 30-24 advantage in paint points.

SMC forced 17 Spartan turnovers including 12 in the second half. The Seahawks turned those miscues into 19 points.

The Spartans look to get back on the winning side of the ledger on Wednesday night as they travel to Marymount University to face the Saints in a CAC contest. Tip time in Arlington is set for 8:00 pm.

Mitch Kemp photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgefoto.com)

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