KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Feb. 14, 2017) – Led by seniors Hunter Jones (Goodyear, Ariz.) and Matt Miller (Augusta, Ga.) in their final game at the Liebertz Gymnasium, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy men's basketball team came from behind to defeat Skyline Conference opponent Mount St. Mary, 91-81, in overtime on Tuesday night. The win improves the Mariners' record to 8-16 (4-11 Skyline), while the Knights fall to 11-12 (6-9 Skyline) in defeat.
Jones drained a career-high 30 points and Miller contributed 16. Freshmen Connor Green (Flower Mound, Texas) and Eric Sobocinski (Southampton, N.J.) added 15 points each in the winning effort. Sophomore David Washington (Frisco, Texas) led all players in the game with 12 rebounds and tied for the game-high with five assists and three steals, and Miller and Green both brought down nine rebounds each.
A remarkable 14 of Jones' 30 points came overtime. The senior also hit the game-tying layup with just four seconds left in the second half. He brought down the rebound from a missed jumper by Miller and put it right back in for the basket that forced overtime
The Mariners trailed by nine points at halftime, 38-29, and by as many as eight, 56-48, with 9:15 to play in the second half. After a long stretch without scoring from either team, Sobocinski single-handedly brought the deficit to just two points with back-to-back three-pointers that made it 56-54 at 4:38. He finished the night a perfect 5-for-5 shooting from the field, all five baskets were three-pointers.
The Mount St. Mary lead rose back up to six, 62-56, at 3:34 after they nailed two three-pointers with a layup by Washington sandwiched in between.
Sobocinski drained another three at 2:56, which was answered by a jumper by the Knights on their next possession before both teams traded baskets on their next possessions, making the score 66-61 with 1:48 to play.
Again Sobocinski drained a three pointer and the Mariners benefited from three missed opportunities by the Knights in the final 1:03 before Jones tied the game up with just four ticks remaining.
The overtime period was "The Hunter Jones Show," as he immediately put the Mariners up for the first time since very early in the game on a pretty layup just eight seconds into the extra frame. He made two more field goals in overtime and benefited mightily by getting sent to the free-throw line a total of 10 times, as he drained eight freebies to help keep the Knights at bay.
Green also added five of his 15 points on the night in the overtime period, while Miller drained four, including the final two free throws before Jones and he were ceremoniously taken out of the game to a great applause from the crowd for the final time in their careers at Kings Point. The Mariners wound up out-scoring Mount St. Mary, 25-15, in the final frame.
The Knights were led by junior Gerard Nocera, who drained 23 points, while also bringing down a team-best seven rebounds. Senior Connor Nicholson had 15 points and freshman Jovin Ramos added 13 off the bench.
The Mariners will conclude the 2016-17 season on Saturday, Feb. 18, when they travel up to Purchase College for a Skyline Conference showdown. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m. Live stats will be available for the contest by following this link.
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Seniors Shine As Men’s Basketball Outlasts Mount St. Mary In Overtime, 91-81