Kings Point, NY – Sophomore George Hatzioannides (Oakland Gardens, NY) posted a career high 27 points Wednesday night as the Mariners toppled Drew, 91-77. USMMA was red-hot in the second half, shooting 65.6 percent from the floor and scoring 56 points. The Mariners also had a decisive edge on the glass, outrebounding the visitors 45-19 in the victory.
Merchant Marine (8-10, 3-5 Landmark) started the night on a 17-6 spurt over the opening 7:29 of action as Hatzioannides had nine of the Mariners first 13 points. The sophomore guard also added seven rebounds and six assists to his stat line. Nick Sergio (Patchogue, NY) paced the Mariners on the glass with 10 rebounds while Scott Dennin (Gilbertsville, PA) notched eight points and six rebounds.
Drew (9-9, 3-4 Landmark) pulled even at 29-29 with 1:49 remaining in the first half on a John Ford three-pointer. Ford and Mike Linger both recorded 24 points for the Rangers, who finished 24-of-28 (85.7%) at the free throw line. Zach Karczewski (Austin, TX) took over in the final two minutes of the half for USMMA. He supplied a three-point play and a trifecta on back-to-back possessions for six of his 15 points, sending the Mariners into halftime with a 35-29 cushion.
Midway through the second period, Hunter Jones (Goodyear, AZ) put Merchant Marine on top by 13 points following a rare four-point play, knocking down a trey in the corner and drawing a foul. Preston Padgett (Leavenworth, KS) continued his recent tear from beyond the arc with three more triples for nine total points. The Mariners finished the night with a 32-8 scoring advantage in the paint as a Payton Ball (Hempstead, NC) layup put the finishing touches on the 91-77 triumph.
The USMMA men's basketball team will look for a third straight win Saturday afternoon at Catholic.