Kings Point, NY – Nick Sergio (Patchogue, NY) posted a double-double with 17 points and a game high 11 rebounds and Reed Buck (Lawrenceville, GA) dropped in 31 points but the USMMA men's basketball team fell to Landmark Conference rival Scranton, 84-78, Wednesday night inside O'Hara Hall. USMMA controlled the glass, holding a 38-32 rebounding edge that included 15 offensive boards. However, USMMA managed just 55.2 percent (16-29) at the free throw line in the loss. The Royals were led by a strong all-around outing from Tommy Morgan, who supplied 27 points, nine rebounds, and six assists.
Scranton (11-3, 3-1 Landmark) grabbed control of a fast paced first half with an 8-0 run that gave the visitors a 19-16 advantage with a Morgan trifecta. Travis Farrell hit a jumper with 4:03 left in the opening period that gave the Royals their largest lead at 37-30.
Merchant Marine (8-6, 1-4 Landmark) would then catch fire to score eight straight points, with the final four coming from Andrew Williams (Lantana, TX), to give USMMA a 38-37 edge. Williams closed the night with nine points and six rebounds on his stat line. Morgan buried a trey with six seconds left in the opening stanza to send Scranton into halftime with a 40-38 lead.
The Royals would lead the second half from wire-to-wire, but that the Mariners continue to nip at the heels of Scranton throughout. Zach Karczewski (Austin, TX) made it a four-point game, 74-70, with 3:56 to play on a free throw. Karczewski finished the contest with five points, eight rebounds, three steals, and three assists.
After a timeout, Scranton rallied to score the next four points and Merchant Marine was unable to chase down the Royals in the closing minutes. The loss marks the first time in 2012-13 USMMA has been defeated in back-to-back games.
Buck eclipsed the 30-point plateau for the second time this season as the junior forward shot 12-of-25 from the field, including 4-of-9 from beyond the arc. The Royals shot at a blistering pace in the second half, hitting 60 percent (12-20) of their shots.