BALTIMORE, Md. – Freshman forward George Bugarinovic punched up his first career double-double with 17 points and 11 points to pace host Johns Hopkins to a 67-66 win against 15th-ranked St. Mary’s (Md.) in the semifinals of the Pride of Maryland Tournament. Hopkins improves to 2-0 on the season and will face Salisbury in the championship game, while St. Mary’s slips to 1-1 and will take on Frostburg in the third-place game.
Trailing by one following a Christian MacAuley 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2:37 to play, sophomore Daniel Corbett and Bugarinovic drained back-to-back triples to take a 63-58 lead with 55 seconds on the clock. The Seahawks cut the deficit to two with a bucket from downtown by Devin Spencer, who then fouled junior Adam Spengler on the inbounds. Spengler hit both free throws to push the lead back to four. But on the ensuing possession MacAuley put back a missed Jeff Haus layup and Hopkins led 65-63 with 23 seconds left.
The Seahawks were forced to foul on each of the Blue Jays’ next two possessions and each time, Spengler hit one-of-two from the charity stripe to extend Hopkins’ lead to 67-63. Spencer kept things interesting as he hit another 3-pointer with just seven seconds to play to make it a one-point game. Haus then came up with a loose ball on the inbounds and St. Mary’s called timeout with three ticks on the clock. Senior Tim McCarty got a hand on the ball to disrupt a pass to Spencer, who threw up a prayer as time expired but the ball bounced off the rim.
The first half was back-and-forth as the lead changed hands eight times with four ties in the game’s opening 16 minutes. St. Mary’s led 21-15 following an old-fashioned three-point play from Deon Quenn. Freshman Jimmy Hammer then hit a jumper in the paint and followed that with a 3-point bucket to cut the deficit to one with just under seven minutes to play in the half. Brian Grashof got two back for the Seahawks, but a pair of Corbett free throws cut it to a 23-22 game. Sophomore Mike Rhoads sandwiched a pair of three-pointers around a MacAuley layup and Hopkins led by three with 3:44 to play. Grashof answered with a pair in the paint but the Blue Jays would get two free throws from sophomore Connor McIntyre and a Joey Hajj jumper to close out the half with a 32-28 lead.
Coming out of the half, Hopkins pushed its lead to eight fueled by six consecutive points from Bugarinovic as the Blue Jays led 42-34. Haus then hit a pair of free throws to ignite a 9-0 Seahawks’ run as St. Mary’s took a 43-42 lead midway through the stanza. The lead sea-sawed back-and-forth over the next eight minutes as neither team could build more than a two-point advantage. Hopkins would re-take the lead for good on Corbett’s 3-pointer with 1:29 to play.
Bugarinovic’s 17 points and 11 rebounds were both game-highs as he also had two blocks and an assist. Spengler finished with a career-high 15 points and also handed out four assists. MacAuley paced the Seahawks with 13 points and seven rebounds. While Spencer also finished in double digits with 12 points and had five helpers. Hopkins shot 50.0 percent from the floor for the game, including 43.8 percent from three-point range. St. Mary’s shot 44.6 percent from the field and 91.7 percent from the free throw line.