ALBANY, N.Y. (Jan. 7, 2017) – Despite a career-high 25 points by senior Hunter Jones (Goodyear, Ariz.), the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy men's basketball team lost on the road to Sage in Skyline Conference action, 76-66, at the Gators' Kahl Gymnasium. The loss drops the Mariners' record to 4-9 (1-4 Skyline), while Sage improves to 6-6 (2-1 Skyline).
Jones led all players in the game in scoring, while freshman Connor Green (Flower Mound, Texas) added eight points and a team-best 10 rebounds. Junior Christian Wittendorf (Granger, Ind.) also contributed eight points and three other Mariners scored six points apiece – sophomore David Washington (Frisco, Texas) and freshmen Eric Sobocinski (Southampton, N.J.) and Will Quigley (Trumbull, Conn.). Washington also brought down eight boards and registered a game-high four blocks.
The Mariners jumped out ahead first with a 2-1 lead after just over two minutes of action, however Sage exploded to an 11-point advantage after a 16-4 run. USMMA cut that deficit down to five just over midway through the first half, 19-14, at 9:39, but the Gators finished the half strong, building up a lead of 14 points on two separate occasions before taking a 36-26 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
After allowing the first basket of the second half, Merchant Marine scored the next six points to pull within seven, 38-31, at 18:15. That was the closest the Mariners would get the rest of the game, however, as Sage went on a 19-3 run, closed out on a pair of free throws that gave the hosts their first 20-point lead of the day, 59-38. USMMA fought back to within 10 late in the half, but the Gators held on for the Skyline divisional victory.
Three players scored in double-figures for Sage, led by senior Marcus Patterson, who notched 16 points. Classmate Davon Sylvester recorded 14 and junior Frane Larose accounted for 13. Junior Thiago Conceicao brought down a game-high 13 rebounds.
Up next, Merchant Marine will host Skyline opponent Purchase on Wednesday night, Jan. 11, for a 7 p.m. tipoff at the Liebertz Gymnasium. Live stats and a live video feed of the game will be available with links on the USMMA Men's Basketball Schedule Page.
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Jones’ Career-High 25 Points Not Enough In Mariners’ 76-66 Loss At Sage