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February 2, 2013

Mariners Keep Playoff Hopes Alive with 61-52 Win at Goucher

Baltimore, MD – The USMMA men's basketball team picked up a crucial Landmark Conference victory Saturday night, knocking off Goucher on the road, 61-52.  Reed Buck (Lawrenceville, GA) paced the Mariners with 21 points, six rebounds, and five assists in the win.   Nick Sergio (Patchogue, NY) tallied 18 points, seven rebounds, three blocks, and went 8-of-11 at the free throw line.  The result puts USMMA just one game behind Susquehanna for the final postseason berth with four games left on the schedule.

Merchant Marine (11-10, 4-6 Landmark) got off to a quick start as senior Frankie Wiseley (Emmaus, PA) drilled a trifecta in the opening possession.  Wiseley would finish the night with a game high seven assists.  The Mariners built a first half advantage on the strength of a 16-2 run that gave USMMA a 23-12 advantage with 6:56 to play in the first half.  The Mariners shot 53.8 percent (14-26) in the opening period and took a 35-23 cushion into the halftime intermission.

Goucher (5-15, 3-7 Landmark) battled back in the second half and eventually whittled the Merchant Marine lead down to just two at 45-43 with 7:35 remaining after a three-point play from Troy Parker Jr.    However, over the next two minutes Sergio, Buck, and Scott Dennin (Gilbertsville, PA) combined for seven straight points to bump the USMMA lead back to 52-43.  Merchant Marine hit 13 of its 17 free throw attempts (76.5%) in the second half and was solid down the stretch to secure the 61-52 triumph.

USMMA racked up 17 assists on its 20 total field goals while also tallying 10 steals against the Gophers.  The Mariners also improved on their league leading block total, rejecting seven shots on the night.  Goucher was led by the double-double performance of Trae Lindsay, who posted 11 points and 13 rebounds.

The Merchant Marine men's basketball team will play another crucial Landmark Conference game this Wednesday night as they host Moravian at 7:00 pm inside O'Hara Hall.