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Etienne, Kamara lead Saints to victory on day one of Pablo Coto tournament

Etienne, Kamara lead Saints to victory on day one of Pablo Coto tournament

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Marymount University men's basketball team started off the 2018 Pablo Coto Tip-Off Tournament in strong fashion on Saturday, defeating Wilmington (Ohio) College, 72-68, at the Converse Family Fieldhouse.

The teams traded baskets on their respective opening possessions, but the score would remain 2-2 through the opening three and a half minutes of the game.

Junior Ibrahim Kamara broke the tie with a layup, and senior Brandon Rogers followed with another layup to grab a four-point lead. Freshman Xavier Reaves got the lead to five, 11-6, on a jump shot.

However, the Quakers came back with a 7-0 run to take the lead. They held the lead for much of the remainder of the first half, but Marymount never fell into more than a four-point deficit.

With 1:28 to go in the first, junior Ryan Albert tallied two-straight layups to regain a 28-26 edge for the Saints, but Wilmington was able to take a 32-31 lead into halftime.

The teams continued to battle in a close contest in the second half. Junior Taiga Walker converted a three-point play to take a two-point lead early in the frame, and after the Quakers tied the score, junior LaDarius McCord drained a three-point shot at the 17:35 mark to retake the lead, 39-36.

Wilmington answered with a 17-6 run to grab a 53-45 lead with 9:32 to go. The Quakers held their lead for the next four minutes, but with just over five minutes left, the Saints began their comeback.

Trailing 62-56, Kamara knocked down two foul shots, before hitting a jumper. Sophomore Steve Etienne scored a layup to tie the score, before Kamara got out on the fast break on a steal for a dunk to regain the lead, 64-62.

Etienne, who led the team with 20 points in the game, added another layup and two foul shots to grow the lead to 69-65 with 1:29 to play.

The Saints held on from there for the win, advancing them to the tournament championship game on Sunday.

Kamara helped lead the way with a double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, while Albert added 15 points.

The Saints will host former Capital Athletic Conference-foe Christopher Newport University on Sunday, November 18 in the championship contest; the opening tip is set for 2 p.m.