KINGS POINT, N.Y. – On Saturday afternoon, the United States Merchant Marine Academy men's basketball team was defeated by Landmark Conference-foe Drew University, 64-60 at the Liebertz Gymnasium in Kings Point, N.Y. The Mariners will next travel to Scranton, Pa. to face the University of Scranton in the conference semifinals on Wednesday night, while Drew will host Catholic University.
Kings Point raced out of the gate to an 8-0 lead to start the game. In reverse fashion, Drew (14-11, 9-5 Landmark) then reeled off nine unanswered points to take its first advantage of the contest (12:37 remaining).
The rest of the half saw each team trading buckets back and forth. The largest lead for the remainder of the half came at 3:30 when the Rangers posted a 26-20 lead.
With eight seconds left in the half, USMMA senior forward Matt Hueber (Alexandria, Va.) nailed a jumper, which marked career points 999 and 1,000 for the midshipman. He was also fouled on the basket and converted on the free throw for his 1,001st point. Kings Point was down by just one (26-25) as halftime arrived.
Junior guard Kevin Kerr (Oakdale, N.Y.) opened up the second half with a three-pointer to give the Mariners (14-11, 8-6 Landmark) a quick 28-26 lead. About 30 seconds later, freshman guard Jeffrey Mark (Elmont, N.Y.) followed that up with a basket from downtown of his own.
With 11:32 left in the game, the score was tied at 45-all. The Rangers then compiled a 12-2 burst over the next two minutes, which enabled them to grab a 57-47 lead. In that run, Drew sunk three treys, two of which came from junior forward Dara McKeon (Dunboyne, Ireland)
From 9:15 to 1:51, the Merchant Marine Academy posted a 13-4 run, which was ignited by a dunk from freshman forward Reed Buck (Lawrenceville, Ga.). Kings Point trailed, 61-60.
The Rangers, however, hit their free throws and sealed the 64-60 win.
Head Coach Danny Nee and the fourth-seeded Mariners will next travel to Scranton, Pa. on Wednesday evening to tipoff against the top-seeded University of Scranton in the Landmark Conference Semifinals. Game time is still yet to be determined. In Madison, N.J., Drew will host a battle against the third-seeded Catholic University Cardinals. Please continue to check www.usmmasports.com for any links to LiveStats, audio and video that Scranton will have.