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The St. Mary's College of Maryland Seahawks are heading to the next round of the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship Tournament after a 72-66 victory over Alvernia (Pa.) on Saturday night in Reading, Pa.

The Seahawks (26-3 overall) will host Morrisville State College (N.Y.) in the sectional round of the tournament at 7 p.m. Saturday. Morrisville State defeated Rhode Island College, 66-61, in overtime.

The win gets St. Mary's to its fourth Sweet 16 appearance, and the 26th victory of the season ties the school record for wins in a season.

Junior guard Kyle Wise led St. Mary's with a career-high 18 points, 13 coming in the first half, and added six assists, while sophomore guard Nick LaGuerre had 16 points. Redshirt senior guard James Davenport chipped in 11 points, and junior guard Brendan McFall was just a rebound shy of a double with 11 points and nine rebounds. The nine boards were a game and season high.

Alvernia led 17-6 early in the contest, but St. Mary's rallied back to tie the game at 31 by halftime.

The Seahawks' biggest lead of the game came at 62-54 with 3:02 left in regulation off a Davenport layup. Alvernia closed to within four with 10 seconds to go, but a LaGuerre dunk sealed a trip to the Sweet 16 for St. Mary's.

Led by Wise and 11 points from freshman forward Troy Spurrier, the Seahawks out-scored Alvernia 32-3 in bench scoring. St. Mary's shot 50 percent from the field (29 for 58) as a team and 83 percent from the free-throw line (10 of 12).

Junior forward Brian Parker led Alvernia (24-5) in the loss with 28 points and seven rebounds.

pwatson@somdnews.com

St. Mary's 72, Alvernia (Pa.) 66

St. Mary's 31 41

Alvernia 31 35

St. Mary's: Wise 18, LaGuerre 16, Davenport 11, McFall 11, Spurrier 11, Haus 3, Biniak 2

Alvernia: Parker 28, Bennett 15, Bridgers 14, Clark 6, Cooper 3

Free throws: St. Mary's 10-12 (Spurrier 3-4); Alvernia 12-18 (Parker 6-9)

3-point goals: St. Mary's 4 (Wise 3, Davenport); Alvernia 6 (Bennett 3, Bridgers 2, Cooper)