KINGS POINT, N.Y. -- It was almost over before it began.
The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy bolted out to a 23-2 lead in the opening 7:10 and never looked back, cruising to a 72-49 men's basketball victory over SUNY-Maritime in the opening game of the season for both games on Tuesday night.
The Mariners (1-0) certainly shared the wealth at Liebertz Gymnasium as 13 players scored against the Privateers (0-1) with forwards Denver Effland ( Hedgesville, W. Va.) and Reed Buck (Lawrenceville, Ga.) tallied 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Senior forward Patrick Farrell (Boca Raton, Fla.) sank a three-point basket with the game only 22 seconds old and the Mariners were off to the races. Whether it was turning a Maritime missed shot into a fast-break basket or forcing the visitors into 10 turnovers in the opening 10 minutes, they worked to find the open man, and more often than not in the early going, they converted their shots.
Effland and Farrell led the way during that early spurt as they both canned a pair of three-point shots as seven players scored. The five teammates who also helped the Mariners to the huge early advantage included Zach Kaczynski (Austin, Texas), with three points, and junior guard Frankie Wisely (Emmaus, Pa.0, senior forward Matt Bullard Dartmouth, Mass.), Buck and sophomore forward Nick Sergio (Patchogue, N.Y.), with two points apiece.
The Mariners extended their lead to 39-16 at halftime as Karczewski contributed seven of his nine points.
Maritime moved within 47-31 with 13:55 remaining in the game. But the Merchant Marines pulled away to its biggest lead of the game, 62-31, behind a 15-0 run over the next 5:09 to seal the victory.
Effland again was a key contributor, scoring five points in that tear as five teammate also scored.
If there was a negative side to the win, it was the Merchant Marine's foul shooting. The Mariners converted an atrocious 10 of 25 free throws. In contrast, the Privateers put in 18 of their 27 tries. Senior guard Mike McSloy, who led Maritime with 19 points, took advantage of his foul shots, canning 9-of-10 attempts.
The Mariners will hit the road for two games this weekend before participating in the 20th annual Equinox Classic. They play Swarthmore at 8 p.m. on Friday and Haverford at 3 p.m. Saturday. After taking a Thanksgiving break, Kings Point will be back in action at Coast Guard on Tuesday, Nov. 29.
Photo: The Mariners dominated SUNY Maritime in their season opener. Photo by Shawn Antonelli