SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – It was a tale of two halves on Monday as St. Mary’s (Md.) squandered a 20-point second half lead and dropped a 63-61 non-conference decision to No. 19 Wooster in the Seahawks at the Puerto Rico Division III Classic.
Junior guard Devin Spencer stretched St. Mary’s (8-3) lead to 20 at 19:29 in the second half as Spencer connected on one of his four three-point field goals. Wooster (6-2) responded with a 12-0 run to close the gap to 42-34 but the Seahawks reestablished a double-digit advantage.
The Fighting Scots, last year’s national runners-up, garnered their first lead of the game with 1:37 remaining in regulation as senior guard Matt Fegan knocked down his first and only shot of the game — a 3-pointer — to give Wooster a 58-56 lead.
Junior guard Christopher Hutchinson answered for the Seahawks as Hutchinson tied up the game 16 seconds later. Wooster’s Josh Claytor converted on an old-fashioned three-point play to put the Scots up 61-58 at 1:03. Hutchinson made two free throws at 55.3 to pull within one. Wooster went 2-of-4 from the line in a 21-second span for a 63-61 lead.
The Seahawks called a timeout with 8.5 seconds left to set up a play for Spencer. He fired up a heavily contested 3-point shot that hit the basket but was off the mark as time expired. Spencer finished the afternoon with 15 points while Hutchinson tallied 14 points and game-bests of nine rebounds and five steals before fouling out with 34.2 ticks.
Thanks to 57.7 percent shooting from the field, including a 5-of-10 effort from downtown, St. Mary’s boasted a 39-22 halftime advantage as the Fighting Scots shot a dismal 23.1 percent, only making one 3-point shot in 11 tries.
The tables were turned in the second half as Wooster’s shooting improved greatly to nearly 60 percent, including a 5-of-8 effort from behind the arc. The Fighting Scots also won the battle of the glass with a 40-29 rebounding margin. Wooster’s scoring leader was Claytor with 16 points while senior forward Justin Hallowell added 10 points and seven boards.