BOSTON (Nov. 26, 2016) – Senior Hunter Jones (Goodyear, Ariz.) hit a pair of free throws with 0.3 seconds left on the clock to lift the USMMA men's basketball team over Vermont Tech, 53-52, on Saturday in the consolation game of the Harbor Invitational, hosted by UMass-Boston. The victory, which was also the first of Coach Dennis Kazimir's career, improved the Mariners to 1-4 on the season, while the Knights fall to 4-5 in defeat.
Juniors Christian Wittendorf (Granger, Ind.) and Robbie Kennedy (Spring Lake, N.J.) both scored in double figures for Merchant Marine, as Wittendorf drained 13 points and Kennedy added 10. Wittendorf and freshman Connor Green (Flower Mound, Texas) both recorded a team-best six rebounds apiece.
Senior Matt Miller (Augusta, Ga.) chipped in with nine points, while Green and Jones both had eight points. Jones also tied for the game-high with four assists.
The Mariners held a five-point lead at the under-four media timeout, 48-43, but the Knights scored six straight points to take a 49-48 lead at 2:32. The Mariners went back up by one, 50-49, on a layup by Wittendorf at 1:48.
Both teams missed their next few shots with a couple of turnovers thrown in there as well, until Jones was fouled with just nine seconds remaining. He hit one of the two freebies to extend the USMMA lead to two, 51-49.
Vermont Tech junior Cameron Carter hit a big three-pointer with under three seconds remaining to give the Knights a 52-51 lead. However, VTC's sophomore Taylar Marston was called for a blocking foul as Jones was making a move to the basket, which sent the Mariner senior to the line with a fraction of a second left on the clock to win the game by hitting both free throws.
For Vermont Tech, Carter led all players in the game with 26 points and tied for the game-high of eight rebounds with freshman Lewis Holey, who scored 11 points. Sophomore Robert Holliday, Jr. contributed nine points for the Knights.
The Mariners are back in action this coming Thursday night, Dec. 1, when they host Skyline Conference opponent Sarah Lawrence College. Tipoff of the USMMA home-opener is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Liebertz Gymnasium. Live stats and a live video stream for of the game are available with links on the USMMA Men's Basketball Schedule Page.
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Men’s Hoops Picks Up First Win Of The Season, 53-52, Over Vermont Tech