KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Feb. 3, 2016) - The USMMA men's basketball team defeated visiting Drew University, 71-49, on Wednesday evening in Landmark Conference action at the Liebertz Gymnasium. The win improves the Mariners' record to 11-8 (6-6 Landmark), while the Rangers fall to 10-11 (7-5 Landmark).
Four Mariners recorded double-digit scoring, as senior Preston Padgett (Leavenworth, Kan.) led the way with a game-high 19 points. Junior George Hatzioannides (Oakland Gardens, N.Y.) added 16, senior Andrew Williams (Lantana, Texas) chipped in with 13 off the bench and classmate David Smith (Lakewood, Wash.) had 11 to go along with a team-high seven rebounds.
The first half was fairly even throughout, with leads swapping three seperate times, but neither team gaining an advantage of more than seven points. The Mariners went up by four on a three by Smith that made the score 23-19 at 6:40. Drew scored the next eight points, however, to take its own four-point lead with just 3:34 to play. Two straight jumpers by Williams tied the score, but Ranger senior Mike Klinger hit a jumper in the paint as time ran out in the first half to put the visitors ahead, 29-27, into the break.
The Mariners used a very strong second half to take command of the game. At one point, Merchant Marine was shooting at a 70-percent clip (14-for-20) to help build an enormous lead of as many as 27 points, all while outscoring Drew 44-20 in the second frame.
For the Rangers, Klinger recorded a team-best 10 points, while classmate Kevin-Michael Miller brought down a game-high eight boards.
The Mariners return to action this Saturday, Feb. 6, when they travel to Manhattan for a non-conference tilt against City College. First tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Beavers' Holman Gymnasium. Live stats are available for the game by following this link. A live audio link will also be available and will be added to the USMMA men's basketball schedule page later this week.
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