Recap written by Eric Getzoff.
KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Dec. 2, 2018) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy men's basketball team lost a non-conference rivalry game to the visiting Coast Guard Bears on Sunday afternoon at Liebertz Gym by a score of 69-42. The loss drops the Mariners to 0-4 on the year, while Coast Guard remains undefeated at 6-0.
Sophomores James Walsh (Huntington, N.Y.) and Seth Barnes (Chillicothe, Ohio) led the Mariners with 12 points each, with Walsh knocking down a team-high three 3-pointers. Junior Connor Green (Flower Mound, Texas) scored seven points, Barnes grabbed a game-high seven rebounds and senior David Washington (Frisco, Texas) had a team-high three steals.
Merchant Marine jumped out to an early 14-2 lead in the first 4:58 of the game, thanks to Walsh's three 3-pointers and another triple by Barnes. Coast Guard then scored 11 unanswered points - eight of those coming from junior Packy Witkowski - to cut its deficit to 14-13 at the 9:30 mark. The Bears took their first lead of the game after a layup by junior Noah Baldez at 6:57 to take give the visitors an 18-17 lead.
The Bears continued their hot streak, outscoring the Mariners 17-4 to take a 31-21 lead into the halftime break. Coast Guard's bench outscored Merchant Marine, 14-0, in the first 20 minutes of play.
With Coast Guard up 36-23 at the 17:44 mark, but Green knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to ten. Unfortunately for the Mariners, Witkowski and senior Nolan Benson silenced the crowd, with the two combining for 12 points over the next 6:31 to give the Bears a 50-30 lead with 10:49 to play.
Coast Guard had command of the game after that, with the Mariners coming no closer than 21 points the rest of the way.
For the Bears, Witkowski led all scorers with 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting with five 3-pointers, while Benson and junior Justin Kane each added in nine points. Senior Bryce Schroeder dropped eight points on two 3-pointers.
The Mariners return to action this Thursday, Dec. 6, when they travel to SUNY Farmingdale to take on the Rams with tip-off set for 8 p.m. 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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