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January 5, 2013

Merchant Marine Prepares for Saturday Night Prime Time Clash with #9 Catholic

Complete Game Notes (PDF)

Setting the Scene... The USMMA men's basketball team enters the heart of the Landmark Conference schedule Saturday night for a clash with #9 Catholic.  The Mariners have gotten hot as of late, winning five of their last six games.  The Cardinals have continued to climb the national rankings all season and currently sit at ninth in the D3Hoops.com poll with just one loss on the year and six straight victories heading into Saturday.

Series History... Catholic holds a narrow 10-9 edge over the Mariners in the all-time series between the two programs after splitting a pair of hotly contested games in 2011-12.  Both sides were able to pick up a road victory last season with USMMA claiming the second meeting, 68-66, in Washington, DC.  In that game, Merchant Marine had four players score in double figures while holding Catholic to just 32.3 percent shooting.

Lucky #9?...  Saturday marks the second time in 2012-13 the Mariners will play a conference game against a team ranked #9 by D3Hoops.com.   The Mariners recent surge began as they knocked off Scranton, 67-54, to upset the Royals on the road.

Bang for your "Buck"...  Reed Buck (Lawrenceville, GA) has found his grove as of late and was named the Landmark Conference Player of the Week on Monday.  The junior forward exploded for over 25 points in back-to-back games, including a season high 31 against Embry-Riddle.  Buck continued his recent roll in the Mariners victory over Trinity, dropping in a game high 24 points.

"Hatz" Off...  Freshman George Hatzioannides (Oakland Gardens, NY) has now made five straight starts for USMMA, averaging 7.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game during that stretch.  Against Elmira, he posted career highs with 12 points and six rebounds.

Power Game... The Mariners are the top-ranked team in the Landmark Conference in both rebounds and blocks per game.  USMMA pulls down 41.1 rebounds per game as well as rejects 5.1 shots per game.  Merchant Marine blocked a season high 12 shots against Dickinson, including six from freshman Andrew Williams (Lantana, TX).

Up Next... Merchant Marine will return home, after four games away from O'Hara Hall, January 9 for a rematch with Scranton.