KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Feb. 6, 2017) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy men's basketball team picked up its second-straight victory on Monday night, triumphing over non-conferenceopponent Rutgers-Camden, 58-56, on the road. The win improves the Mariners' record to 7-14 on the season, while the Scarlet Raptors fall to 5-17.
Nearly half of USMMA's points in the game came courtesy of senior Matt Miller (Augusta, Ga.), as he finished the night with a game-high 27 points – his third-straight 20-plus scoring output – while also leading all players in the game with 10 rebounds for the double-double. Earlier in the day on Monday, Miller was recognized by the Skyline Conference on the men's basketball weekly honor roll for the third-straight week and fourth time this year.
Junior Christian Wittendorf (Granger, Ind.) contributed 12 points and sophomore David Washington (Frisco, Texas) added nine. Both players also brought down nine rebounds each.
Rutgers-Camden jumped out to an early lead in the opening two minutes, but the Mariners grabber their first lead of the game, 6-5, at 16:16 on a layup by Wittendorf. Play remained close the remainder of the first half, with the Scarlet Raptors tying the game on two occasions, but Merchant Marine finished the final three minutes on a 6-2 run to take a 25-21 lead into the halftime break.
The Mariner lead reached 10 points just over four minutes into action in the second half before momentum started to shift back-and-forth. Rutgers fought back to within two points, 34-32, at 11:10, but USMMA went on a 14-4 run to take a 12-point lead, 48-36, with 7:10 remaining. The hosts cut their deficit down to five, 53-48, after a 12-5 run before the Mariners scored four straight to make it 57-48 with just 1:51 left.
The Scarlet Raptors scored eight points in just a nine-second span from 1:01 to 0:52 to make it a one-point game, 57-56, and actually had possession with under 30 seconds to play but missed a potential game-winning jumper with three seconds left that Washington rebounded and was subsequently fouled, and he hit one-of-two freebies with just 0.2 seconds on the clock to seal the victory.
Three players scored in double-figures for Rutgers-Camden with junior Shafeek Taylor leading the way with 14 points, sophomore Isaac Destin chipping in with 13 and junior Charlie Riccardi draining 12 off the bench. Taylor led the Scarlet Raptors with eight rebounds.
The Mariners will travel up to Bronxville, N.Y., this Wednesday night, Feb. 8, for a Skyline Conference divisional showdown against Sarah Lawrence College. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Gryphons' Campbell Sports Center. . 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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Men’s Basketball Holds Off Rutgers-Camden, 58-56, For Second-Straight Victory