Kings Point, NY – The USMMA men's basketball team was limited to just 25.8 percent shooting (16-62) as #10 Catholic escaped O'Hara Hall with a 54-42 Landmark Conference victory Saturday night. Andrew Williams (Lantana, TX) led the Mariners with 11 points while also adding six rebounds and four blocks. The loss marks the first time since the 2007-08 season that the Mariners typically high-powered offense has been held under 50 points.
Merchant Marine (10-9, 3-6 Landmark) found themselves down 23-16 with 5:31 remaining in the opening half before rattling off five straight points to reel in the Cardinals. Nick Sergio (Patchogue, NY) chipped in three of those points as the junior finished the night with eight points and nine rebounds. However, the visitors netted the final five points of the half to take a 28-21 cushion into the intermission.
Catholic (17-2, 7-1 Landmark) was anchored by the 17 point, 15 rebound performance of Chris Kearney, who tallied his 1,000th career point in the first half. The Cardinals' advantage reached 11 at 43-32 with 9:29 remaining in regulation following a Shawn Holmes free throw. Holmes ended his night with a game high 21 points along with four steals.
David Smith (Lakewood, WA) would then provide a spark for the Mariners, drilling a trifecta from the left wing. However, USMMA was 4-of-23 (17.4%) from downtown for the game. Frankie Wiseley (Emmaus, PA) buried an 18-footer on the next trip up the floor to cut the Mariners deficit to six at 43-37. Zach Karczewski (Austin, TX) made it a five point affair with a free throw before a 7-0 Catholic run put the game out of reach as the Cardinals held on for a 54-42 road win.
Merchant Marine will have a quick turnaround as the team prepares for the final non-conference game of the year Monday night at Wesleyan (CT).