Division II Finals: St. Vincent-St. Mary Uses Second-Half Surge To Drop Thurgood Marshall

St. Vincent-St. Mary, a school best known as LeBron James' alma mater, used a 15-1 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to pull away from Thurgood Marshall and won 57-46 in Ohio's Division II finals at Value City Arena in Columbus.

After a close first half, St. Vincent-St. Mary led 29-27 with less than five minutes left in the third before scoring nine of the last 10 points to close the quarter.

St. Vincent-St. Mary started the fourth quarter equally as strong, scoring the first six points to put the game out of reach.

A strong defensive effort also helped keep Thurgood Marshall in check, as the Fighting Irish's zone defense kept the Cougars out of the paint and 26 points below its season scoring average. During the decisive run, St. Vincent-St. Mary held Thurgood Marshall without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes.

It was the second time in three years that St. Vincent-St. Mary of Akron (19-9) met Thurgood Marshall of Dayton (22-6) in the state finals, and it was the sixth basketball title overall for St. Vincent-St. Mary.

Junior Lorenzo Cugini led St. Vincent-St. Mary in scoring for the second straight game with 15 points. He added 10 rebounds.

Teammate Devonte Beard, a senior guard receiving Division I interest, filled up the stat sheet with 13 points, four assists and three rebounds.

Thurgood Marshall star Jordan Watson, who was suspended for the semifinals, scored a game-high 16 points.

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