NEW YORK (Feb. 6, 2016) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy men's basketball team lost a road, non-conference tilt to City College of New York, 77-72, on Saturday afternoon at the Beavers' Nat Holman Gymnasium. The loss drops the Mariners' record to 11-9 overall, while CCNY improves to 12-10.
Three players scored in double-figures for the Mariners, as junior George Hatzioannides (Oakland Gardens, N.Y.) led the way with 16 points off the bench, while classmate Matt Miller (Augusta, Ga.) contributed 15 and senior David Smith (Lakewood, Wash.) chipped in with 10 and a game-high 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season.
The Mariners came out strong to start the contest, scoring the first seven points on the afternoon – five coming from Miller alone. City College responded with strong defensive play the remainder of the half, however, recording six steals in the last 15 minutes and turning the game around to take as high as a nine-point lead in the final minute of action. The Beavers went into the locker room at halftime with a 38-31 lead.
USMMA out-rebounded the Beavers, 17-15, in the opening frame and shot 48.0-percent from the field (12-for-25), but CCNY capitalized off 13 USMMA turnovers to turn that into 17 points off of TOs. Miller tallied 10 points in the first half.
The hosts' advantage reached as high as 10 points, 45-35, in the first three minutes of the second half, but Merchant Marine scored the next eight to come within two with 13:46 remaining. Play was back-and-forth from there, with the Beavers going back up by eight with six straight, and then USMMA chipping away at the deficit until eventually tying the score at 62-62 at 5:42.
CCNY held the edge down the stretch, however, going on a 10-2 run over the next four minutes to bring its lead back up to eight, 72-64, with 1:47 remaining, and holding on for the victory.
The Beavers had four score in double-figures led by junior Mark Richards' game-high 22. Junior Khalil Hamer added 19, classmate Robbie Dionisio had 11 and sophomore David Solano contributed 10. Hamer and Dionisio both brought down a team-high six rebounds each.
Up next, the Mariners will play their final non-conference game of the season this Monday, Feb. 8, at home against Rutgers-Camden.