KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Feb. 10, 2019) – The USMMA men's basketball team lost its 2018-19 home-finale, 75-72, on Sunday afternoon to visiting Skyline foe Yeshiva University. The Mariners' record drops to 8-14 (6-12 Skyline) in defeat, while the Maccabees improve to 17-4 (15-2 Skyline) with the victory.
Prior to the game the Merchant Marine men's basketball program paid tribute to its two graduating seniors Jeremy Collier (Fairfax, Va.) and David Washington (Frisco, Texas) with a special Senior Day ceremony.
The close game featured a total of 19 lead changes – nine in the first half and 10 more in the second, including four in the final five minutes of the game.
Merchant Marine's largest lead of the day was nine points midway through the opening half, and the Maccabees never led by more than four points in the affair.
A season-best five players scored in double-digits for Merchant Marine, with freshman Jack Bucher (Carlisle, Pa.) leading the way with 15 points. Off the bench, classmate Blaine McDonough (Marietta, Ga.) drained 13, while junior Connor Green (Flower Mound, Texas) added 12. Washington picked up a double-double on the afternoon with 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds and sophomore James Walsh also had 10 points.
The Mariners saw their nine-point lead, 25-16 at 9:21, erased by an 11-2 run by Yeshiva over just two-plus minutes that brought the score even at 27-27. The Maccabees went into the half with a slim 36-35 lead.
The Macs pulled ahead by four early in the second, but then it was the Mariners who applied pressure and built up a three-point lead after Green connected on back-to-back three-pointers to make it 50-47 in favor of Merchant Marine at 14:09.
From there, Yeshiva build up another four-point lead two more times over the midway point of the half, including a 61-57 advantage at 8:59. USMMA responded with seven-straight points, however to go ahead by four, 64-61, after a three-point play by Walsh at 6:57.
Neither team went ahead by more than two points down the stretch (until the Macs pulled ahead by three before the final whistle), as it seemed like they were trading scores on every possession. A costly travelling call by the Mariners in the final minute down by just one wound up giving the Macs possession and they hit one-of-two free throws to make it a two-point game, 74-72.
A missed layup with just 13 seconds left was gobbled up by Yeshiva and Merchant Marine quickly fouled. Again the Macs hit one-of-two, setting up a final possession for the Mariners to get a potential game-tying three. That attempt just missed and time ran out on the hosts.
For YU, freshman Ryan Turell scored a game-high 23 points and had a team-best seven rebounds, while junior Gabriel Leifer added 20 points and just missed out on a double-double with eight assists. Junior Simcha Halpert also chipped in offensively with 16 points.
The Mariners hit the hardwood again in just two days, this Tuesday, Feb. 12, for a road Skyline game at Old Westbury beginning at 7 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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