Setting the Scene... The USMMA men's basketball team welcomes Juniata to O'Hara Hall Saturday afternoon for a must-win Landmark Conference game. The Mariners currently sit in sixth place in the conference standings, one game behind a pair of teams for the final playoff spot. The Eagles are tied for the number two position in the rankings. Merchant Marine fell to Moravian Wednesday night to begin its final home stand of the season while Juniata dispatched Goucher, 60-46.
Series History... Merchant Marine still leads the all-time series with Juniata, 8-4, despite a loss to the Eagles earlier this season. The two teams split a pair of games in 2011-12 but with that exception every season series between the two teams has ended in a sweep. Back in January, all five Eagles' starters reached double figures in scoring en route to knocking off the Mariners.
Power "Sergio" ... Junior Nick Sergio (Patchogue, NY) is averaging 9.7 rebounds over the last seven games. Last time out, Sergio posted a team high 12 points to go along with eight rebounds. Sergio is currently tied for the Landmark Conference lead in rebounding, hauling-in 7.7 boards per game throughout 2012-13.
Dennin Time... Scott Dennin (Gilbertsville, PA) has made the most of his recent minutes off the bench, providing the Mariners with scoring and rebounding. The freshman is averaging 8.5 points and 8.5 rebounds over the last two games despite only playing 20.5 minutes per game. Dennin recorded his second double-double of the year versus Moravian, notching 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Senior Day... Before Saturday's game the USMMA men's basketball program will honor the three players who are playing their final few games in a Mariner uniform. Reed Buck (Lawrenceville, GA), Frankie Wiseley (Emmaus, PA), and Josh Beck (Martinsville, NJ) will all be recognized before tip-off. Buck eclipsed the 1,000 point mark earlier this year, Wiseley currently ranks fourth in the league with 4.1 assists per game, and Beck is a solid defender who makes an impact off the bench.
Up Next... USMMA wraps its home stand Wednesday night as they host Drew for a 7:00 pm tip-off.