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January 17, 2013

Mariners Travel to Pennsylvania for Saturday Meeting at Juniata


Complete Game Notes (PDF)

Setting the Scene... The USMMA men's basketball team heads to Juniata Saturday afternoon for a Landmark Conference game that could have playoff implications.  As the standings tighten-up the Mariners are looking to rally from the back of the pack, keeping in mind the heartbreak of missing the postseason last year as a result of tiebreakers.  USMMA will need to rebound from a 66-56 defeat at #24 Stevens while the Eagles knocked off Goucher in their last game to move above .500 in league play.

Series History... Merchant Marine boasts an 8-3 advantage in the all-time series against Juniata.  The two teams split a pair of close games in 2011-12 with each side successfully defending its home court.  Since the creation of the Landmark Conference, and with the exception of last year, every USMMA-Juniata season series has ended in a sweep.  

Chasing 1,000... Reed Buck (Lawrenceville, GA), in just his third season at USMMA, is pursuing the elite 1,000 point club.  He currently stands at 947 points in a Mariner uniform, just 53 points short of the 1,000 milestone.  Buck is the reigning Landmark Conference Player of the Week and leads the league in scoring with 19.9 points per game.

"Double" Your Fun... In USMMA's last game both Nick Sergio (Patchogue, NY) and Andrew Williams (Lantana, TX) recorded a double-double against #24 Stevens.  Sergio finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds while Williams posted 12 points and 10 rebounds.  Sergio leads the Mariners with three double-doubles in 2012-13 while Williams has notched a pair in his rookie season. 

Taking on the Best... The Mariners have played three nationally ranked teams this season, compiling a 1-2 record.  USMMA knocked off then-#9 Scranton on the road December 9.  However, Merchant Marine has dropped its last two games against the nation's elite, falling to then-#9 Catholic and #24 Stevens.

As Simple as Shooting... The key to USMMA victories in 2012-13 has been a simple formula; have a higher field goal percentage than your opponent.  Merchant Marine is 8-0 when accomplishing that goal while notching a 1-7 mark when posting a lower field goal percentage than its opposition.

Up Next... Merchant Marine's next game will be another road Landmark Conference contest as the team meets Drew Wednesday night at 7:00 pm.