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February 8, 2014

High Powered Offense Propels Merchant Marine Past Goucher, 98-86

Kings Point, NY – David Smith (Lakewood, WA) led the way with 31 points, nine rebounds, and six assists as the USMMA men's basketball team earned a 98-86 shootout victory over Goucher Saturday afternoon.  The Mariners were 40-of-69 (55.6%) from the floor and dominated the glass, owning a 41-22 rebounding advantage.  Nick Sergio (Patchogue, NY) added a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds while Zach Karczewski (Austin, TX) struck for 22 points of his own.

Goucher (8-13, 3-7 Landmark) jumped out to a 7-2 advantage in the opening minutes of the first half on the strength of a Cody Toler three-ball.  The Gophers made nine treys and posted a 48.3 percent mark from the field in the loss.  Alex Noble had a team high 26 points for Goucher and Julian Livingston recorded 25 points.

Merchant Marine (10-11, 5-6 Landmark) grabbed its first lead of the day at the 12:43 mark following a Smith trifecta.  The Mariners cushion grew to 10 points with 1:25 to play in the half on a Matthew Miller (Augusta, GA) fast break bucket.  Miller finished with 12 points and USMMA tallied 19 points on the break.  The Gophers scored the final four points of the period to trim the Mariners lead to 46-40 heading into the intermission.

Karczewski got USMMA off to a quick start in the second half with five straight points to spark a spurt that gave Merchant Marine a 61-45 edge.   The Gophers would rally back and a 26-10 run, capped by Noble jumper made it a 71-67 contest with 10:58 on the clock.  Merchant Marine quickly rebuilt its double-digit margin as Smith and Preston Padgett (Leavenworth, KS) knocked down three-pointers.

USMMA capitalized on 8-of-11 (72.7%) at the charity stripe to ice the 98-86 triumph that keeps the team in the thick of the Landmark Conference playoff race.  Smith's 31 points are a career high and Sergio's double-double is the center's eighth of the 2013-14 campaign.

The Merchant Marine men's basketball team returns to the court tomorrow for a 2:00 PM