KINGS POINT, N.Y. – The United States Merchant Marine Academy fought hard against the University of Scranton, but came up short, 76-71 on Friday night. The University of Scranton improved to 17-6 overall and 10-2 in Landmark Conference play while the Mariners fall to 10-13 overall and 5-7 in Landmark Conference matchups.
Though they never led, the Mariners out-shot the Royals from the field in the first half, going 12-27 while the Royals shot 11-30. The Royals found more success in free-throws, shooting 81.8% from the line to the Mariners 60%. With 7:03 remaining in the half, the Royals put up a 12 point lead over the Mariners, their largest of the night. The Mariners fought back however, and cut the Scranton lead in half, trailing 34-28 at the end of the first.
The Mariners fought back even harder in the second half, coming within three of the Royals after a layup by junior Frankie Wiseley with 14:43 remaining. From there the Mariners kept the game close, never letting the Royals lead by more than eight points for the rest of the night. The Mariners came closest with 9:23 remaining as they pulled within two of the Royals following a jumper by sophomore Reed Buck. The Royals immediately answered back with a three-pointer from junior Travis Farrell, bringing the Scranton lead back up to five. With 10 seconds remaining, Wiseley hit a three-pointer to again pull the Mariners within three, but that's the closest they would come as the Royals went to the line and made three more shots, one by senior Matt Swabeck and two more from sophomore Tommy Morgan. As time expired, the Mariners found themselves on the losing end of a 76-71 score, snapping their three-game win streak.
Reed Buck and Nick Sergio each had 20 points for the Mariners. Buck was 8-18 from the field and 4-10 from three-point range. Sergio was 9-11 from the field and had 4 blocks on the night.
Travis Farrell led the Royals in scoring on 6-10 shooting and a perfect 9-9 from the free throw line. Freshman Ross Danzig also added 22 points on 8-13 shooting and a perfect 4-4 from the line. It was free-throws that proved to be the difference in the game as the Royals shot 78.9% from the line to the Mariners 53.3%.
Next up for the United States Merchant Marine Academy is another Landmark Conference matchup as the Mariners host Moravian College on Saturday afternoon.