Sophomore guard Nick LaGuerre (Baltimore, Md./Lansdowne) exploded for 17 second-half points to help the No. 11 St. Mary’s College of Maryland men’s basketball erase a nine-point deficit and pick up an 85-76 victory over No. 24 MIT in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament.
LaGuerre scored 12 points in a 16-5 Seahawk run that returned the lead in St. Mary’s favor for the first time since the 10:11 mark in the first half. LaGuerre’s second three-pointer in a four minutes gave his team a 65-63 edge with 6:54 left to play. The Seahawks went 11-of-16 at the line in the final 2:36 of the contest to secure a spot in next Saturday’s second round action.
St. Mary’s (25-3) advances to its fifth NCAA second round game with tonight’s win and will now face Alvernia University (24-4), a 97-78 winner over Albertus Magnus College, on March 9. The game site will be announced by NCAA on Monday.
LaGuerre started the game going 0-for-5 before finishing as the team’s leading scorer with 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including 2-of-5 from downtown and 5-of-5 at the charity stripe, and dished five assists as well. Junior guard Donn Hill (Aberdeen, Md./Bel Air) was next in scoring with 17 points followed by fellow classmate Brendan McFall‘s (Poolesville, Md./Poolesville) 13.
Junior guard Kyle Wise (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall) rounded out the double-digit scoring for the Seahawks with 11 points and five assists off the bench. McFall led the team on the glass with six rebounds.
MIT (20-6) posted a 36-35 halftime lead behind senior forward Will Tashman’s (Atherton, Calif./Menlo School) 14 first-half points. Tashman made his first six shots before missing a jumper 20 seconds before the end of the first half. First-year forward Troy Spurrier (Mt. Airy, Md./Glenelg) scored the Seahawks final four points of the half to close the gap to one.
The Engineers outshot St. Mary’s 65.2-percent to 44.4-percent in the first 20 minutes. The Seahawks stayed on MIT’s coattails by going 5-of-8 from downtown. Tashman led all scorers with 14 points while Hill paced the hosts with nine.
Senior forward Jeff Haus (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) laid in a shot at 18:36 of the second half to keep St. Mary’s within one before MIT went on a 18-10 run to establish its biggest lead of nine at 11:53. Sophomore forward Matt Redfield (Los Altos, Calif./Gunn) netted seven points in the run while first-year guard Justin Pedley (Kennewick, Wash./Kamiakin) knocked two three-pointers.
Tashman finished with game-highs of 23 points and nine boards while Pedley contributed 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting from behind the arc and Redfield chipped in 18 and eight caroms. Senior guard Mitchell Kates (Colts Neck, N.J./Phillips Exeter Academy) handed out a game-best nine assists and added nine points.