February 7, 2009

Big Second Half Lifts St. Mary's Over Spartans

ST. MARY’S CITY, MD-The St. Mary’s College Seahawks men’s basketball team used a 50-point second half to hold off the upset-minded York College Spartans in Capital Athletic Conference action on Saturday afternoon in St. Mary’s City, MD. The Seahawks, who dropped an overtime decision in York in January, improve to 18-4 overall and 11-2 in the conference. The Spartans fall to 7-15 overall and 5-8 in the CAC. York has now alternated a win and a loss in their last nine games.
St. Mary’s got off to a scorching start as they led the Green and White 24-7 just under seven minutes into the game. The Seahawks again led by 17, at 28-11, as the Spartans looked like they were going to get run out of the ARC Arena. The Spartan offense then woke up and put together a 19-4 run that cut the Seahawk lead to 32-30 with 4:12 left in the half. The Spartans eventually took a 38-36 lead on a Nick Brady (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic) triple with 37 seconds left in the half. The Seahawks got a pair of Mike Bowden free throws with 24 seconds left to tie the game heading to the break.
The Spartans kept the game close in the opening five minutes of the second half. York’s last lead came on a Julian Watson (Odenton, Md./Arundel) jumper with 16:44 remaining in the game. St. Mary’s then responded with a 15-2 run, turning their one point deficit into a 12-point lead. The Spartans kept fighting as they cut the Seahawks lead to seven, at 65-58, on a Watson lay up with 7:15 remaining. That would be as close as York would get the rest of the way as the Seahawk lead grew to as many as 15 points in the final two minutes before the Green and White trimmed the final deficit to nine.
The Seahawks had all five starters reach double figures in a very balanced attack. Sophomore guard Alex Franz led the Seahawks with a double-double as he had 14 points and 13 assists. He also had five steals and three rebounds as he played all 40 minutes for the hosts. Seniors Alex Irmer and Calvin Wise led the Hawks as they each tallied 17 points. Irmer added eight rebounds while Wise pulled down six caroms of his own. Camontae Griffin added 15 points while Mike Fitzpatrick chipped in with 12 points, three assists, three rebounds, and three steals.
The Spartans received a game-high 18 points from Watson as the freshman continues to play well. Watson was 9-for-16 from the floor while he also had three assists and two steals. Brady added 16 points and five rebounds for the Spartans. He was 5-for-11 from the floor including a three while he was 5-for-6 from the free throw line. Senior Mike Riley (Webster, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit) was the third Spartan in double figures as he had 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting including 3-of-4 from distance in just 15 minutes of action.
Both teams shot well from the floor as St. Mary’s converted 55.9% of their shots for the game while York made 55.4% of their attempts for the contest. York struggled from the free throw line as they made 12-of-20 from stripe while St. Mary’s made 19-of-27 (70.4%) for the game. St. Mary’s went 9-for-14 from the line over the final two minutes of the game.
St. Mary’s out-rebounded the Spartans 32-29 while the hosts held a 50-40 edge in points in the paint. York did force 18 St. Mary’s turnovers which they turned into 21 points. St. Mary’s converted York’s 19 miscues into 14 points.
The Spartans are now off until next Saturday when they travel to first-place Wesley College for their final regular season CAC road game of the year. Tip off in Dover, Del is set for 4:00 pm.

GAME BOX

Julian Watson photo courtesy of Eric Linsley

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