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January 7, 2012

Late 2nd Half Drought Dooms Mariners – Lose 66-60 at Juniata

HUNTINGDON, Pa. – On the strength of a 9-0 over the course of a five-and-a-half minute stretch late in the second half, the Juniata College Eagles overtook the United States Merchant Marine Academy Mariners 66-60 in Landmark Conference play on Saturday evening.

The Mariners (6-7, 1-1 Landmark) began the game with a fury, scoring nine of the game's first 11 points, before Juniata (10-3, 2-0 Landmark) called a quick timeout. Kings Point would keep the lead throughout the first 10 minutes of play, as a layup from Frankie Wiseley off a dish from Michael Farace put the Mariners up nine with 10:51 to play in the half.

Nine would be the largest Kings Point lead of the evening, as from there the Eagles would go on a 12-0 run of their own, to take their first lead of the contest at 23-20. A trifecta from Reed Buck would end the Eagles spurt, and a Denver Effland layup a minute later would tie the game at 25-25. Over the last six minutes, Juniata would outscore the Mariners by two to take a 32-30 halftime advantage. Reed Buck's 13 points in the first half would lead all scorers, followed by Juniata guard Alex Raymond with 10.

To begin the second half, Effland would muscle his way inside of the Juniata defense and finish to tie the contest at 32-32. The game would remain tight through the next several minutes, before back-to-back buckets from Juniata's Jeremy Hays would push the Juniata lead to six. After a Kings Point timeout, the Mariners responded, going on a 9-0 run themselves to retake a three point advantage. After consecutive layups from Dan Sekulski of the Eagles, Farace would hit a tough jumper in the lane to put Kings Point back up by one with 7:08 to play. That, however, would be the last Mariners lead of the evening.

From there, the Eagles would take control, as a pair of layups from Austin Ankney sandwiched buckets from Brian Scholly would push the Juniata lead to eight at 60-52 with 1:43 left. A pair of Michael Farace free throws would cut the deficit to six, but that's as close as the Mariners would get the rest of the way. Three points each from Juniata's Alex Raymond and Jeremy Hays would keep Kings Point at arm's length during the last 90 seconds.

USMMA's Reed Buck had a game-high 18 points but on just 7-16 from the floor. He also added a game-high 11 rebounds in 28 minutes of action. Zach Karczewski chipped in nine points and six rebounds, and three other Mariners (Denver Effland, Kevin Kerr and Frankie Wiseley) added seven points each. Juniata's Alex Raymond led the Eagles with 17 points, as four Juniata players finished with double figures.

The Mariners continue on the road tomorrow afternoon, as they face a hot Susquehanna Crusaders team that defeated Drew University 83-77 earlier this evening and have won seven of their last eight games. Tip time from Selinsgrove, PA is set for 2:00pm.