KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Jan. 29, 2019) – Led by a career-high 30 points from sophomore James Walsh (Huntington, N.Y.), the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy men's basketball team defeated visiting St. Joseph's-Long Island, 68-51, on Tuesday night at the Liebertz Gym. With the victory, the Mariners improve to 7-11 (5-9 Skyline), while the Golden Eagles fall to 5-14 (4-9 Skyline) in defeat.
Thanks to stringent defense by the Mariners, St. Joe's scored just 11 first-half points and they all came in the first five-plus minutes of the game. The Golden Eagles' third three-pointer of the night gave the visitors an 11-5 lead at 14:42.
Merchant Marine hit six of its first seven attempted three-pointers in the opening 12 minutes of the game to jump out to a 24-11 lead at 8:04. The Mariners held SJC without a point for nearly 15 minutes, taking a 37-11 lead into the halftime break.
The home lead hit as high as 32 points, 47-15, at 17:02, as Walsh scored the Mariners' first 10 points of the half in the opening three minutes. However, the Golden Eagles charged all the way back to within 10 points, 55-45, with just 5:40 to play, but that was the closest they would get, as USMMA ended the game on a 13-6 run.
Walsh drained a career-high 30 points, thanks in large part to four three-pointers. He scored 13 points in the first half and drained 17 in the second. The sophomore also swiped a game-high five steals on the night.
Freshman Jack Bucher (Carlisle, Pa.) was the only other Mariner to score in double-figures with 10 points and classmate Blaine McDonough (Marietta, Ga.) added eight to go along with a team-high eight rebounds. Sophomore Seth Barnes (Chillicothe, Ohio) contributed eight off the bench, while junior Connor Green (Flower Mound, Texas) had six points and matched his career-best with a game-high nine assists. Senior big-man David Washington (Frisco, Texas) registered a career-high seven blocks on the night.
For St. Joe's, freshman Matthew Hirdt recorded a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Junior Frank Basile scored a team-high 19 points, whiel senior Mike Harris added 10.
Up next, the Mariners will host St. Joseph's-Brooklyn this Thursday, Jan. 31, at 7:30 p.m. at the Liebertz Gym. 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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