Tory Wilson's Heroics in Closing Seconds Lift Hood to 61-60 Win Over Marymount

Byron Morgan
Byron Morgan

ARLINGTON, Va.--Sophomore forward Tory Wilson poured in a career-high 23 points, including the game-winning layup with one second left on the clock, to give the Hood College men's basketball team (11-5, 6-1 CAC) a slim 61-60 Capital Athletic Conference triumph over Marymount University (10-7, 5-3 CAC) Monday evening.

The contest was a seesaw affair from the start, featuring a total of 13 ties and 12 lead changes, and neither team led by more than five points. Hood won its third straight game over the Saints and improved to 5-3 in the head-to-head series. The Blazers also moved back into a tie for first-place in the CAC with St. Mary's College (Md.), the team it will face at home Wednesday at 8 p.m.

Wilson and Tyler Snoots were a solid frontcourt tandem for Hood in the opening stanza, combining to hit 9-of-12 shots from the field for 20 of the Blazers' 26 first-half points. But Marymount took a narrow 28-26 lead into the break.

The lead changed hands four times in the final 30 seconds. Marymount's Stephen Simoneau got a jumper to fall with 30 seconds left to put the Saints up 58-57. After a triple by Hood's Brenden Straughn rimmed out with 14 seconds left, Davon Speight came down with the carom but immediately turned it over. The Blazers called a timeout to set up a play. This time Wilson found Straughn in the lane for the go-ahead layup with nine seconds left.

On the Saints' next possession, J'Air Brady fouled Simoneau to put Marymount into the double bonus. Simoneau, a 73.8 percent foul shooter coming into the game, hit the first to tie the score at 59-59, and the Blazers spent another timeout before his second attempt. Simoneau then connected on his second foul shot to put the Saints back on top, 60-59, with six ticks on the clock.

The Blazers quickly worked the ball up the court and Straughn and Wilson connected again for what proved to be the game-winning score with one second remaining. Marymount still had a chance for a desperation heave, but after burning a timeout, Sam Sentz turned the ball over and Hood emerged victorious.

Wilson had the most productive offensive performance of his Hood career, connecting on 10-of-12 shots from the field for a game-high 23 points, surpassing his previous best of 18 set against York College (Pa.) on Jan. 9. Snoots registered his fourth career double-double with 15 points and a game-high 12 boards. Straughn finished with eight points, two rebounds and two assists.

Hood shot 56.0 percent from the floor, which compensated for its 5-for-15 effort from the foul line and 0-for-5 showing from three-point range. The Blazers also outrebounded the Saints, 33-26.

Four Saints reached double figures, led by Sentz's 14.

The Blazers host the St. Mary's Seahawks (13-2, 6-1 CAC) in a showdown for first-place in the CAC Wednesday at the Odom Fitness Center at Fort Detrick in the second game of a doubleheader with the women's team. The Seahawks, currently ranked No. 17 in the latest D3hoops.com poll, defeated the Blazers earlier this season in the championship game of the Pride of Maryland Tournament, 89-77.