KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Nov. 27, 2018) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy men's basketball team hosted Hall of Fame Head Coach Jim Calhoun's first-year University of St. Joseph (Connecticut) squad at the Liebertz Gymnasium on Tuesday night in non-conference action. After a close first half, the visiting Blue Jays pulled away in the second for an 84-64 victory. The loss drops the Mariners' record to 0-2 on the season, while USJ improves to 4-2.
Sophomore Seth Barnes (Chillicothe, Ohio) drained a game-high 28 points for the Mariners, which was a career-best for the forward. He shot 9-of-15 from the floor, with four three-pointers and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Junior Eric Sobocinski (Southampton, N.J.) contributed 13 points off the bench and also had four from beyond the arc.
Two other players added seven points apiece – sophomore James Walsh (Huntington, N.Y.) and freshman Blaine McDonough (Marietta, Ga.), with McDonough also bringing down a team-best six rebounds and Walsh dishing out five assists, which tied for the game-high. Juniors Mike Morsberger (Catonsville, Md.) and Connor Green (Flower Mound, Texas) rounded out the scoring for Merchant Marine with five and four points, respectively.
The visitors quickly jumped out to a nine-point lead, 11-2, just over five minutes into the game and the two teams traded the next six baskets to bring the score to 18-9 in favor of the Blue Jays at 10:50 of the first. From there, the Mariners used a 14-4 run to take a 23-22 lead at 5:48, thanks in large part to seven points by Sobocinski (including two three-pointers) over the stretch.
Shortly after, Sobocinski hit another three to give USMMA its largest lead of the night, four points (28-24), at 4:33. USJ went ahead with five straight, including a three-point play at 2:37 that put them ahead 29-28. The half ended with the two teams trading the next four baskets, however it was a three-pointer by the Blue Jays with 41 seconds to play that ended the scoring and put the visitors into the halftime break with a 34-32 lead.
After a quick back-and-forth again to start the second half, the Jays used a big 12-0 run to make it a 13-point game, 54-41, at 11:46. St. Joseph's lead did not fall back into single-digits the remainder of the night, and they snapped a two-game losing skid with the victory.
Four players scored in double-figures for USJ, led by freshman Chris Childs with 20 off the bench on 7-of-10 shooting with two threes. Sophomore Mike Sagay added 18, while freshman Delshawn Jackson Jr. contributed 16 and classmate Cameron Sells drained 11 off the bench. Sagay also finished the night with a double-double after bringing down a game-high 10 rebounds. and Jackson tied Walsh with a game-best five assists in the contest.
Up next, Merchant Marine will travel up to Bronxville, N.Y., this Thursday night, Nov. 29, for a Skyline Conference contest at Sarah Lawrence College. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 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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