ST. MARY’S CITY, Md. – The St. Mary’s College of Maryland men’s basketball team already knew on February 8 that they had earned a spot in the 2022 United East Conference Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament but after Saturday’s 80-54 win over Penn State Berks (0-22, 0-16 UEC), the Seahawks (13-9, 12-4 UEC) locked up the No. 3 seed.
The United East championship will run through Lancaster Bible College, which clinched the No. 1 seed with its 72-57 triumph over Penn State Harrisburg. Harrisburg finished as the No. 2 seed while Wells College claimed the fourth and final seed. The United East Tournament will begin on Friday, February 25, with Lancaster Bible serving as the host site for both the semifinals and the championship game.
Prior to the start of the game, the Seahawks recognized their trio of seniors – Seth Jones (Baltimore, Md./Baltimore Polytechnic), Cameron Rucker (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook), and Quan Staley (Silver Spring, Md./James Hubert Blake) – for their years of service and dedication and leadership to the program.
How It Happened
- Penn State Berks owned the lead for the first two minutes of the game, 4-2, before the Seahawks opened a 10-4 lead on a bucket by Rucker and never looked back.
- An old-fashioned three-point play by Hassan Koroma pulled the Nittany Lions within 10-9 at 14:52 before St. Mary’s College cruised to a 48-24 halftime advantage.
- It was more of the same in the second half as the Seahawks stretched their lead to as many as 37 with 5:54 to go on a dunk by first-year forward Kendahl Toft (Vista, Calif./Quajome Park).
Inside the Box Score
- St. Mary’s College dominated the paint, putting up 54 of its 80 points from inside the key including four dunks with two coming courtesy of first-year forward Naz Fisher (Washington, D.C./Washington Latin).
- The Seahawks also picked up 29 fast break points and 23 points off 23 turnovers committed by Penn State Berks.
- Rucker finished with 11 points as he went 6-for-6 at the free throw line while Fisher also contributed 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the field in 12 minutes of play.
- Staley was the other Seahawk to score in double digits with 10 first-year guard Elijah Crawford (Oxon Hill, Md./Potomac) paced the squad with a game-best nine boards as SMCM outrebounded the Nittany Lions, 58-44.
- Koroma tallied a game-best 12 points to lead Penn State Berks, who finished the season winless.
Up Next for the Seahawks
- Feb. 25 vs. Penn State Harrisburg (21-3) – Lancaster, Pa. – TBA