Men’s Basketball Off to Strong Start Against High-Ranked Opponents

St. Mary’s Men’s Basketball is off to a solid start this season with a 5-1 record and two recent wins over high-ranking teams.

The #14 ranked Seahawks won their first game against Johns Hopkins University 73-66 and their second against Hood College (77-60).

Their next game proved to be more of a challenge, though, with a 56-54 loss to Frostburg State University at the buzzer in what Head Coach Chris Harney, in his sixth season as coach, calls their “worst game ever.”

“[It was] one of those games where we got up on the wrong side of the bed…We did everything wrong,” he said.

However, despite their sloppy performance, Coach Harney said that it proves that they were still a talented enough team to play poorly and still almost win. “We have a great team. We have talent,” he said. “We have players that work hard.”

The hard work paid off when Seahawks rebounded in their next two games against Top 25 ranked teams, beginning first with a 19-point win over #7 Franklin and Marshall, who beat the Seahawks last year to end their season.

Harney said this win was a key one, because it allowed the Seahawks to “avenge last year and knock off a Top 10 team,” and it was a positive response to the disappointment at Frostburg State.
In their next game, the Seahawks defeated #25 Christopher Newport 86-67 in another 19 point win.

Senior point guard Alex Franz, who leads the team in points, steals, and assists, and averages 16.2 points a game, viewed last year as an accomplished but unsatisfying season. After beating two ranked teams, though, he believes this season will be a success.

He was proven right on Saturday, Dec. 4, as the Seahawks took their first conference and away game win from Stevenson University.

In the upcoming weeks, the Seahawks have a tough set of conference games, including a game last Monday against The Citadel Military University of South Carolina, a Division I team. According to Coach Harney, “Every team in the conference has improved; every game is a battle.”

Senior forward Sam Burum leads the team in offensive rebounds and field goals. Burum said last year was one of the most successful years the Seahawks have had. “We went far, but not as far as we wanted to go,” he said.

So far, he said, the season has been going well, but “…the biggest thing for us is not to have any letdowns; to get up for every game and make sure we’re performing as best we can.”

At home, the Seahawks have a 24-0 record during the regular season, which Coach Harney attributes to all of the students who come out to support the team. “I love it here,” he said. “I think this team has the potential to do great things.”

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