Kings Point, NY – The USMMA men's basketball team suffered a 83-69 setback at the hands of Moravian Wednesday night despite a double-double, 10 points and 11 rebounds, from Scott Dennin (Gilbertsville, PA). The visiting Greyhounds struck for 10 three-point baskets and made 15-of-18 free throws in the second half. Izel Dickerson led all scorers with 26 points while Nick Sergio (Patchogue, NY) paced the Mariners with 12 points.
Moravian (13-9, 5-6 Landmark) was on fire to start the game drilling seven of its opening nine shots, including four trifectas. USMMA head coach Danny Nee took the game's first timeout as the surge reached 18-2 with 14:10 on the clock.
Merchant Marine (11-11, 4-7 Landmark) responded with a 14-0 run of its own, which featured a pair of Dennin three-pointers that forced the Greyhounds to call for a stoppage. The USMMA defense held Moravian scoreless for over seven minutes after the game's opening spurt. However, the Greyhounds were able to rebuild their advantage and took a 34-24 cushion into the halftime intermission. The Mariners committed 16 of their 23 total turnovers in the first period.
USMMA immediately began to chip away at the Moravian edge to start the second half and narrowed the game to 37-35 at the 15:42 mark on the strength of two made free throws from Reed Buck (Lawrenceville, GA). Moravian answered the challenge by scoring six consecutive field goals, including back-to-back buckets from D.J. Strayhorn, who finished with 20 points. The Greyhounds turned the momentum into a 16-1 run that covered only three minutes of playing time and made it a 59-39 affair.
The Mariners were unable to close the margin in the final minutes as the Greyhounds claimed the 83-69 decision. USMMA shot 50 percent (16-32) in the final period but managed just 14-of-25 (56%) for the game at the charity stripe. Merchant Marine also held a decisive advantage on the boards, out-rebounding the Greyhounds 47-32.
The USMMA men's basketball team returns to action this Saturday for a conference game against Juniata. Tip-off is set for 4:00 pm as the second game in a double header.