Kings Point, NY – The USMMA men's basketball team outscored Maritime (NY) 29-13 in the final ten minutes as Merchant Marine picked up its second straight victory Monday evening. Senior Zach Karczewski (Austin, TX) led the way with 14 points as four Mariners scored in double figures en route to the 83-64 triumph. USMMA dominated the glass, outrebounding the Privateers, 53-31, and notched 18 second-chance points.
Merchant Marine (2-1) opened fast as Karczewski converted a three-point play on the opening possession. However, the Privateers grabbed a 19-16 edge on a Chris Heine three-pointer. Heine was his team's leading scorer with 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting. The visitors made seven trifectas and were 41.2 percent from beyond the arc. The two teams battled back-and-forth through the remainder of the first half but a Liam Ryan trey with 15 seconds left sent the Privateers into halftime with a 37-35 advantage.
Maritime (NY) (1-3) quickly saw its lead disappear in the second half as a three-point play from Matthew Miller (Augusta, GA) put Merchant Marine on top, 41-39. Miller finished the day with 12 points as did senior Nick Sergio (Patchogue, NY), who also added six rebounds to his stat line. Danny Collins (Sleepy Hollow, NY) paced the Mariners on the glass for a second straight game with eight boards.
In a game that featured 57 fouls and 76 total free throws the battle at the charity stripe became pivotal. Merchant Marine shot 60.5 percent and over 70 percent at the free throw line compared to the struggling Maritime (NY) who went just 17-for-38 (44.7%) at the line. The momentum stayed in favor of the Mariners after a two-handed jam from Andrew Williams (Lantanta, TX) midway through the second half. Williams rounded out his performance with 10 points, five rebounds, and two blocks.
USMMA expanded a 54-51 edge and broke the game open with a 10-0 run that was capped by back-to-back layups from Sergio and Miller. Preston Padgett (Leavenworth, KS) pushed the lead to 20 points at 76-56 on a jumper with 3:56 to play. David Smith (Lakewood, WA) scored seven points in six minutes down the stretch as the Mariners sealed the 83-64 verdict.
The Mariners return to action after the Thanksgiving break for a December 4 clash on the road against NYU.