St. Mary's builds big lead, beats RMC
Seahawks advance to NCAA Third Round for third time
ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. -- No. 13 St. Mary’s (Md.) (24-5) rolled out to a 12-2 start and never looked back as the Seahawks knocked off No. 6 Randolph-Macon 68-53 in NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship tournament Second Round action Saturday night in front of another sellout crowd of 1,200 at the Michael P. O'Brien Athletics & Recreation Center Arena on the St. Mary’s campus.
Three Seahawks scored in double digits as St. Mary’s garnered its second consecutive trip to the round of 16, and third in four years. The Seahawks will face Buffalo State (23-6) in the NCAA Sectionals on Friday, March 11. The other two teams in St. Mary’s sectional will be No. 2 Middlebury (26-1) and No. 17 Rochester (22-5). The four sectional host sites will be released by Monday.
St. Mary’s came out firing and rushed out to a 12-2 lead in the first six minutes of the game as the Yellow Jackets struggled to find its offensive rhythm. Senior guard Alex Franz’ layup at the 8:06 mark stretched the lead to 13 -- the largest of the half.
Back-to-back buckets by sophomore forward Lamar Giggetts helped Randolph-Macon closed the gap to five following a 14-6 run over a span of nearly six minutes to make it 26-21 St. Mary’s. The Seahawks went in the locker room with a 34-21 advantage after an 8-0 spurt in the final 2:23 of the half.
The Seahawks stretched their 13-point halftime lead to 21 at the 2:25 mark of the second stanza as St. Mary’s outscored the 2010 NCAA Final Four participant, 30-12, during that span.
Senior center Sam Burum was the leading scorer for the second straight game as Burum tallied a game-high 15 points along with adding a game-best five boards. Franz finished with 13 points, seven steals and six assists while first-year center Christian MacAuley chipped in a dozen points and five boards as well.
Randolph-Macon’s five starters were stymied from the opening tip-off as none of them scored in double digits, including being held to just six points as a group in the first half. The Yellow Jackets’ leading scorer on the night came off the bench as Giggetts notched 12 points and three caroms.
St. Mary’s, making its third NCAA Tournament appearance, improves to 6-2 all-time in tournament contests. The Seahawks have advanced to the round of 16 in all three trips.