Kings Point, NY – The USMMA men's basketball team rejected a season high 12 shots, including six from Andrew Williams (Lantana, TX) in a 71-61 non-conference victory over Dickinson Tuesday night. Reigning Landmark Conference Player of the Year Reed Buck (Lawrenceville, GA) exploded for a season high 26 points, including a pair of pivotal three-pointers late in the second half. For the first time in 2012-13 the Mariners have strung together three straight wins.
Merchant Marine (6-3) engineered a 10-3 run in the first half, building a 20-12 cushion midway through the opening period. Scott Dennin (Gilbertsville, PA) chipped in five points on the spurt, including a trifecta from the left wing. Dennin finished the night with nine points and six rebounds, off the bench, for USMMA. Zach Karczewski (Austin, TX) also had a busy night off the bench, playing 30 minutes and tallying nine points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals. The Mariners shot 50% (15-30) in the first half and took a 33-24 lead into the intermission.
Dickinson (7-3) was paced by Gerry Wixted's double-double as the forward posted 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Red Devils. Despite Wixted's 8-of-11 mark from the free throw line the visitor's struggled from the charity stripe, shooting just 16-28 (57.1%). However, the Mariners also missed some opportunities at the line, knocking down only 8-17 (47.1%) of their free throws.
The Red Devils continued to battle through the second half and eventually trimmed the USMMA advantage to just six, 58-52, with 4:23 remaining. However, Buck then buried triples on back-to-back possessions to push the lead back to 64-52. Karczewski made it a 9-0 run with a power move to the hoop that resulted in a conventional three-point play and put the Mariners in command at 67-52 with 2:28 remaining in regulation.
Merchant Marine distributed the ball well all night, racking up 19 assists on 29 total field goals. George Hatzioannides (Oakland Gardens, NY) dished out five assists while senior Frankie Wiseley (Emmaus, PA) notched four helpers. Nick Sergio (Patchogue, NY) continued his string of solid play with seven points and six rebounds while also adding a trio of blocks to the Mariners season high.
USMMA held off Dickinson down the stretch and eventually came away with the 71-61 triumph in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 395 inside O'Hara Hall. The Mariners return to action December 28-29 as they travel to Florida to compete in the Land of Magic Tournament, hosted by Embry-Riddle.