Mariners Set to Open 2013 Tomorrow at Trinity (CT)

Freshman George Hatzioannides
Freshman George Hatzioannides

Complete Game Notes (PDF)

Setting the Scene... The USMMA men's basketball team kicks-off the New Year Wednesday afternoon in Hartford, CT against Trinity in a non-conference contest.  The Mariners are coming off of a 1-1 performance at the Land of Magic Classic and have won four of their last five games.  The Bantams are 5-6 on the year and also had a 1-1 weekend during the holiday break.

Series History... Trinity holds a 20-11 advantage in the all-time series versus USMMA.  The Bantams won last year's meeting between the two teams, 68-66, in Kings Point.  In that game the Mariners closed a 12 point halftime deficit but were unable to complete the comeback despite 18 points from Reed Buck.

Bang for your "Buck"...  Reed Buck (Lawrenceville, GA) has found his grove as of late and was named the Landmark Conference Player of the Week on Monday.  The junior forward exploded for over 25 points in back-to-back games, including a season high 31 against Embry-Riddle.  Buck leads the league in scoring, averaging 18.7 points per game.

"Hatz" Off...  Freshman George Hatzioannides (Oakland Gardens, NY) has now made four straight starts for USMMA, averaging 7.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game during that stretch.  Last time out he posted career highs with 12 points and six rebounds versus Elmira.

About to Get Serious... After Merchant Marine's tilt with Trinity the team will have just two more non-conference games remaining on the schedule.  The Mariners will play 11 of their last 13 games against Landmark Conference rivals as the race to earn a spot in the playoffs kicks into high gear.  All of USMMA's six remaining home games will be against Landmark Conference opposition.
Power Game... The Mariners are the top-ranked team in the Landmark Conference in both rebounds and blocks per game.  USMMA pulls down 41.6 rebounds per game as well as rejects 5.0 blocks per game.  Merchant Marine blocked a season high 12 shots against Dickinson, including six from freshman Andrew Williams (Lantana, TX).

Up Next... Merchant Marine will take to the road again on January 5 for a showdown against nationally ranked Catholic.