St. Mary’s (Md.) holds off Bethany
Spencer scores career-high 28 points to lead Seahawks
ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. -- Junior guard Devin Spencer poured in a career-high 28 points in leading St. Mary's (Md.) to a 69-57 victory against No. 20 Bethany (W.Va.) in the first round of the 2012 NCAA tournament on Wednesday night.
Spencer could not miss from downtown as he knocked down a career-high seven three-point field goals in 11 attempts, finishing 9-of-18 from the floor. Spencer also added a career-best three steals.
The Seahawks never trailed in the first half, owning a 25-14 advantage on a layup by junior forward Jeff Haus with 7:40 remaining. Bethany scored two quick baskets to close the gap to seven at 6:21 but St. Mary's put together a 7-2 run to claim a 32-20 at halftime. Spencer notched 14 first-half points on 4-of-7 shooting from behind the arc.
|NCAA TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND|
|NYU 84, Misercordia 65|
|St. Mary's (Md.) 69, Bethany (W.Va.) 57|
Six players stepped on the court for the Bethany Bison (25-4) in the first half and five of them tallied four points each while this year's Presidents' Athletic Conference Player of the Year, junior forward Nick Wilson, was held scoreless.
St. Mary's started the second half on a 13-5 run to post a 20-point lead at 15:31--its biggest lead of the contest -- as sophomore forward Christian MacAuley punctuated the run with a dunk off sophomore guard Kyle Wise's alley-oop.
The Bison weren't ready to see their season come to an end and they constructed a 31-16 run to erase the 20-point deficit and pull within 61-56 at 3:40 as first-year guard Delonte' Joyce capped the run with a jumper. St. Mary's responded with an 8-1 streak to secure the win and the opportunity to continue its quest for a national title.
Haus collected his second career double-double on 14 points and career-best 13 rebounds while MacAuley hauled in 11 boards and junior guard Chris Hutchinson chipped in 10 points.
Junior guard Reece Mabery paced Bethany with 21 points, five assists and five steals while senior forward British Alexander tallied a double-double on game-high 14 caroms and 10 points.