PHOENIXVILLE, Pa. – In a commanding display of skill and teamwork, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland men’s basketball team clinched their inaugural win of the 2023-24 season on Tuesday night. Facing off against the University of Valley Forge, the Seahawks emerged victorious with a final score of 76-60.

The first half of the game was a closely contested battle, featuring seven tied scores and four lead changes. Jason Bontemps III’s jumper brought the game to a seventh and final tie at 33-all. St. Mary’s capitalized on this momentum, securing the final four points of the half and heading into the break with a 37-33 lead.

The Seahawks elevated their performance in the second half, shooting an impressive 47.2% from the floor. Senior captain Hollique Johnson played a pivotal role in a 10-2 run that extended St. Mary’s lead to 12 points (47-35) within the opening five minutes of the half. Despite efforts from the Patriots, St. Mary’s maintained a double-digit lead, with the closest margin being eight points.

Jeremiah Daye of the University of Valley Forge narrowed the gap to 63-55 with five minutes remaining, but St. Mary’s closed out the game with a decisive 13-5 run. Fifth-year captain Daryn Alexander and sophomore guard Micah Henry led the charge, securing St. Mary’s 76-60 triumph.

In a noteworthy performance, the Seahawks displayed prowess at the free-throw line, recording a season-best .762 free throw percentage by going 16-for-21. St. Mary’s also asserted dominance in rebounding, outclassing the Patriots 33-30, with Hollique Johnson and sophomore forward JD Salo grabbing a game-best nine boards each. The Seahawks showcased their strength in the paint, finishing with a commanding 40-18 scoring margin.

Individual standout performances for St. Mary’s included Daryn Alexander’s season-best 18 points, five assists, and four steals. Micah Henry and Hollique Johnson contributed 13 points each, while first-year guard James Lerner provided season-bests with 11 points and three rebounds.

On the opposing side, Valley Forge’s Dashawn Goodine led the Patriots with 19 points, accompanied by a 15-point contribution from Jason Bontemps.

Looking ahead, St. Mary’s College is set to face Catholic (2-0) on Nov. 18 in Washington, D.C. The matchup will take place at Gallaudet University at 4 p.m., offering the Seahawks an opportunity to build on their recent success.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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