WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 21, 2016) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy men's basketball team ended the 2015-16 season on Sunday with a road loss at Landmark Conference opponent Catholic, 80-61, at the Cardinals' DuFour Center. The Mariners finish the year with an 11-14 record, which is a two-win improvement over last season, including a 6-10 record in Landmark action. The Cardinals improve to 20-5 (13-3 Landmark) and have earned the #1 seed in the upcoming Landmark Conference Tournament.
Senior David Smith (Lakewood, Wash.) ended his remarkable four-year career with a game-high 29 points and matched the team-high of five rebounds with classmate Andrew Williams (Lantana, Texas) and junior Matt Miller (Augusta, Ga.). Senior Preston Padgett (Leavenworth, Kan.) and junior George Hatzioannides (Oakland Gardens, N.Y.) both chipped in with seven points apiece.
There were three lead changes in the opening five minutes of the game, as both teams were even out of the gates. The Mariners maintained a lead for two minutes in the middle of the first half, with their advantage reaching as high as five points, 17-12, at 14:02. USMMA was plagued by turnovers and missed shots over the next seven minutes, however, and the Cardinals capitalized on that, as they went on a 16-0 run to take a 28-17 lead at 7:29. Merchant Marine fought back to within five points after a 7-1 run, but Catholic finished the half on a 9-0 run to take a 38-24 lead into the half.
The Cardinals worked their lead up to 20 points at 13:45 of the second half and it remained above 20 for a majority of the half. The Mariners cut the deficit back to 19 twice in the final three minutes, including on the last basket of the game, a three-pointer by Padgett.
Four players scored in double-figures for the Cardinals, led by senior Bryson Fonville, who had 19 points. Junior Louis Khouri added 17 points, sophomore Jay Howard contributed 15 and junior Corey Stanford had 10 to go along with a game-high six rebounds.
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