Division III tournament: St. Mary’s (Md.) falls to Mary Hardin-Baylor in NCAA quarterfinal

March 23, 2013

St. Mary’s (Md.) squandered a 10-point second-half lead and fell to Mary Hardin-Baylor, 69-66, in an NCAA Division III men’s tournament quarterfinal in Salem, Va.

Trailing 48-38 with 14 minutes 14 seconds left, the Crusaders went on a 12-3 run to cut their deficit to 51-50. The Seahawks pushed their lead back to 60-54 with 4:49 left, but Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Kitrick Bell converted a three-point play, Cory Meals made a jumper and Layton Zinsmeister hit a three-pointer to tie the score at 62 with 3:02 remaining. Meals then made a three-pointer to give the Crusaders the lead for good, 65-64, with 2:19 left.

St. Mary’s had a chance to win, but Nick LaGuerre’s shot at the buzzer bounced off the front of the rim.

“I thought my guys did a great job. It just came down at the end to a couple of possessions. I give all the credit to Mary Hardin-Baylor and the coaching staff, adjusting to what we were doing and their better shot selection changed the flow of the game,” Seahawks Coach Chris Harney said in a release issued by the school.

St. Mary’s finished 27-4, the most wins in program history. The Seahawks were making their fifth NCAA tournament appearance and were in the final eight for just the second time.

Senior guard James Davenport paced St. Mary’s with a team-high 16 points, 11 coming in the second half. Laguerre and reserve forward Troy Spurrier (Glenelg) each scored 12.

Thomas Orr scored 26 points on 9-of-20 shooting to pace Mary Hardin-Baylor (26-5), which became the first team from the state of Texas to advance to the Division III Final Four. The Crusaders will face St. Thomas (Minn.), an 82-79 winner over Williams in another quarterfinal final, in Friday’s national semifinals.

Amherst, which defeated Cabrini, 101-82, will face North Central (Ill.), a 77-65 winner over Middlebury, in the other semifinal.

GMU’s Porter resigns

Jeri Porter resigned as the women’s basketball coach at George Mason after five seasons, the school announced Friday. Porter went 51-100 in Fairfax, leading the Patriots to a 9-21 record this past season.

“I want to thank Jeri for her hard work and dedication as head coach of the women’s basketball program for the past five seasons,” George Mason Athletic Director Tom O’Connor said in a statement. “She is a first-class individual and was a terrific ambassador for George Mason University. I am confident she will be successful in her pursuit of future professional goals.”

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