In a clash of nationally ranked Division III teams, Christopher Newport’s men incurred their first loss of the season Wednesday night in Maryland.
St. Mary’s, ranked No. 24 by d3hoops.com, took control early in the second half and weathered a CNU comeback to beat the 15th-ranked Captains 65-60.
The Seahawks (6-1), who will be joined in the Capital Athletic Conference by the Captains next season, led 29-28 after a first half that was close throughout. Following the intermission, St. Mary’s extended its margin to as many as 15 points.
But the Captains (5-1) tightened their defense and cut the gap, eventually getting it to three on Mike Cherry’s running layup with 12 seconds left, giving him 11 points. But the Seahawks hit two free throws to go ahead 63-58.
CNU’s Tra Benefield scored the last of his team-high 21 points on a follow-up dunk after a teammate’s miss, but the Captains were out of timeouts and couldn’t organize their defense. St. Mary’s easily broke the press and clinched the win on Donn Hill’s slam.
Cherry, a recent national Team of the Week member, had 11 points, barely half of his average.
The Captains shot just 35 percent, compared to 50 percent by St. Mary’s. Nick LaGuerre led the Seahawks with 16 points.
James Madison (3-5) earned its second victory in a row, jumping to a 14-2 lead and rolling past undermanned East Tennessee State 70-45 in Harrisonburg.
A.J. Davis, back from a one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team, led the Dukes with 17 points, and freshman Andre Nation had 11 points and five steals.
Rashawn Rambert scored 12 for ETSU, which used only eight players after a series of injuries and dismissals. ...
Towson (4-4) beat Vermont 68-64 as Jerrelle Benimon had a career-high 29 points and 10 rebounds. Mike Burwell hit two free throws with 11 seconds remaining to boost the lead to 67-64.
Luke Apfeld paced the host Catamounts (4-3) with 24 points.
Rachael Bilney scored 16 and Becca Wann had 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists as Richmond (6-4) rolled to a 65-51 victory over Virginia Tech (4-3) at Robins Center.
Monet Tellier paced the Hokies with 20 points, but they shot 1-of-9 from 3-point range compared to UR’s 9-of-14. ...
No. 21 North Carolina (8-1) beat Radford 64-44 in Chapel Hill behind Waltiea Rolle’s 24 points, seven rebounds and five blocks.
Radford (3-4), coached by Kecoughtan High graduate Tajama Abraham Ngongba, cut a 46-23 deficit to 48-37 before the Tar Heels regained control. ...
Akron (7-1) beat George Mason 65-49, dropping the host Patriots to 4-3 despite Rahneeka Saunders' 20 points.
Bethel High graduate Amber Easter had eight rebounds for Mason but shot just 2-for-9 for four points. ...
Host VCU (4-4) handled Maryland Baltimore County 70-41 as freshman Jessica Pellechio, one of the nation's top 3-point shooters, led all scorers with 20 points. She hit four of the Rams' 12 3-pointers.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun