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The St. Mary’s College of Maryland Seahawks men’s basketball team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament after an 85-76 victory over the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – a 2012 Final Four team – on Saturday night at home.

The Seahawks trailed by as many as nine points, 58-49, with just under 12 minutes remaining in regulation. Trailing 63-56 with 8 minutes 45 seconds remaining, the Seahawks went on a 12-0 run, thanks to the scoring antics of sophomore guard Nick LaGuerre.

LaGuerre scored 10 of the 12 points in the run, including eight-straight points over a two-minute span in the midst of the run that gave the Seahawks a 68-63 lead. St. Mary’s never trailed again.

“We were down, so we knew something had to happen,” said LaGuerre, who finished with a team-high 19 points. “I wasn’t hitting shots all night, but I just credit my teammates for keep giving me the ball and having confidence in me. Once I started hitting shots, the team morale just boosted and we just took it over.”

Donn Hill pitched in 17 points and Brendan McFall (13 points) and Kyle Wise (11) rounded out the Seahawks double-digit scorers.

During the first half when LaGuerre admittedly struggled, it was Hill who kept the Seahawks within striking distance by scoring nine of his 17 points in the first half.

“I was just being aggressive,” Hill said. “I was just attacking and playing with confidence. … Everything was just about confidence and aggressive play.”

MIT senior Will Tashman led all scorers with 23 points in the loss, while Justin Pedley had 21. All of Pedley’s points came on converting seven three-pointers.

The Seahawks will return to action in the second round of play on March 9 against Alvernia University (Pa.) with game location and time of contest to be determined on Monday afternoon.

jmccray@somdnews.com

St. Mary’s 85, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 76

MIT 36 40

St. Mary’s 35 50

MIT: Tashman 23, Pedley 21, Redfield 18, Kates 9, Dawson 5

St. Mary’s: LaGuerre 19, Hill 17, McFall 13, Wise 11, Davenport 8, Haus 7, Spurrier 6, Biniak 4

Free throws: MIT 12-20 (Tashman 5-6, Redfield 6-10); St. Mary’s 23-30 (Hill 4-6, Wise 7-10, LaGuerre 5-5)

3-point goals: MIT 8 (Pedley 7, Kates); St. Mary’s 8 (Davenport 2, LaGuerre 2, McFall 2, Hill, Haus)