LAS VEGAS, Nev. – On the strength of 13 three-pointers and a 43-point second half, the Skidmore Thoroughbreds defeated the United States Merchant Marine Academy Mariners 72-56 Thursday afternoon in the first game for each program in the D3Hoops.com classic from the South Point Hotel and Casino.
The Mariners outpaced the Thoroughbreds early, jumping out to an early 12-3 on the strength of a pair of fast break layups by Denver Effland and Zach Karczewski sandwiched by early trifectas from Reed Buck and Michael Farace. Despite an early timeout used by Skidmore coach Joe Burke, the Mariners kept the pressure on, adding another 5 points from Buck to take a 17-3 lead with 14:52 left in the first half. However, the tide would change for the Mariners from there, as that would be their largest lead of the contest.
The Thoroughbreds defense tightened up and held the Mariners to just two points over the next seven and a half minutes, as a Melvis Langyintuo three-pointer would give Skidmore their first lead of the contest at 20-19 with 7:27 before halftime. Michael Farace responded with a three-pointer of his own to help USMMA regain the lead 22-20. From there, the lead would change hands eight more times over the next seven minutes, as the Mariners took a slim 30-29 lead into the break.
Skidmore would give USMMA a taste of their own medicine to start the second half, as they began the final stanza on an early 7-0 run, culminating on a Terron Victoria three-point play at the 17:47 mark. The Mariners fought back on a Frankie Wiseley layup and Reed Buck's third three-pointer of the contest to cut the deficit to just one at 36-35.
From there, Skidmore would go on another run, this time a 12-4 spurt that would push the lead to nine with just over 11 minutes to play. That's when senior Denver Effland took over for the Mariners, almost singlehandedly willing Kings Point back into the game. Effland would score 11 of the next 13 Mariners points over the span of nearly five minutes, closing the gap to three at 55-52 with 7:08 to play.
However, the Thoroughbreds were too much down the homestretch, as they would finish the contest scoring 17 of the game's final 21 points, including four three-pointers, three by senior guard John Mantas. Eight of Skidmore's 14 made field-goals in the second half were of the long-range variety.
Reed Buck was the high man for the Mariners, scoring 19 points on 8-13 shooting including 3-4 from beyond the arc. Denver Effland added 13 on 6-10 shooting, with sophomore Texans Michael Farace and Zach Karczewski adding eight apiece.
Bench scoring was another significant difference between the two clubs, as Skidmore's bench outscored the Mariners reserves 36-6, including a game-high 22 from Mantas on 6-10 from three-point range.
Kings Point falls to 5-5 with the loss, and will step on the South Point Arena floor tomorrow to face the Wesley Wolverines in a 5:00pm (PST) contest. Wesley was defeated by Ramapo College 82-78 in their first contest from Las Vegas earlier this evening. Skidmore improves to 5-2.