NEW YORK (Nov. 28, 2017) – The USMMA men's basketball team traveled into Manhattan on Tuesday night to face non-conference opponent Hunter College and left the gym at the Hunter Sportsplex with a solid 68-52 victory over the Hawks. The win improves the Mariners' record to 2-0, while Hunter falls to 1-4.
Senior George Hatzioannides (Oakland Gardens, N.Y.) notched a game-high 25 points to lead the way for Merchant Marine. He also brought down five rebounds and led the Mariners with three steals and two assists on the night. Junior David Washington (Frisco, Texas) just missed out on a double-double with 10 points and a team-best nine boards, while sophomore Eric Sobocinski (Southampton, N.J.) added nine points to lead all bench players.
Senior Robbie Kennedy (Spring Lake, N.J.) and sophomore Connor Green (Flower Mound, Texas) both contributed six points apiece towards the victory. Freshmen Seth Barnes (Chillicothe, Ohio) and James Walsh (Huntington, N.Y.) added five points each and freshman Jesse Neloms (Memphis, Tenn.) chipped in with two points to round out the Mariners' scorers on the night.
The Mariners scored more than half their points down low, as 38 of the 68 points came in the paint. They also did a great job turning 21 Hunter turnovers into a total of 27 points and benefited from 16 offensive rebounds on the night to account towards 21 second-chance points.
USMMA led by six at halftime, 29-23, with a late surge after a back-and-forth opening 10 minutes of the game. The Mariners did not relinquish the advantage the remainder of the game, as the lead hit 10 points at 8:44 of the second, 49-39, and it did not drop back down into single-digits.
Hunter had three players scored in double-digits with senior Amer Lukac leading the way with a double-double on 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Both senior Matt Franks and sophomore George Keener added 13 points apiece in the losing effort.
Up next, Merchant Marine will travel up to Skyline opponent Sarah Lawrence College on Thursday night, Nov. 30. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the Gryphons' Campbell Sports Center on the campus of SLC in Bronxville, N.Y. 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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