Setting the Scene... The USMMA men's basketball team plays its final home game of the season Wednesday night as they host Drew inside O'Hara Hall. The Mariners will look to keep their playoff hopes alive after defeating Juniata Saturday afternoon on senior day. The Rangers enter Wednesday's game at the bottom of the league standings and are riding a six game losing streak, most recently dropping a 61-57 decision at Goucher.
Series History... Merchant Marine holds a 10-2 advantage in the all-time series against Drew, including sweeping the season series last year. USMMA defeated the Rangers last month in Madison, NJ, 75-66. In that game, Nick Sergio (Patchogue, NY) paced the Marines with 20 points and 16 rebounds.
Playoff Picture... The Landmark Conference postseason race has come into focus with each team having just two games remaining on the schedule. The Mariners can only reach the playoffs with two wins coupled with a pair of losses from Moravian, who will play the two teams currently at the top of the conference standings. Catholic and Scranton have both secured a berth in the Landmark Conference Tournament, leaving USMMA, Juniata, Moravian and Susquehanna to compete for the final two spots.
As Simple as Shooting... The formula for Merchant Marine to win games this season has been a seemingly simple one: have a higher shooting percentage than the opponent. USMMA is 11-0 when achieving that goal and shot 50 percent from the floor for the second time this season last time out against Juniata.
Taking Charity... The Mariners had their best performance at the free throw line of 2012-13 in their win over the Eagles. USMMA went 19-of-23 from the charity stripe for the game, including 16-of-17 in the second half. For the season, Merchant Marine is shooting 65.4 percent from the free throw line and are paced by the 78.3 percent mark of Reed Buck.
Cleaning the Glass... Merchant Marine leads the Landmark Conference in rebounding, averaging 41.4 boards per game and a league best margin of +7.3 over its opposition.
Up Next... USMMA concludes the regular season Saturday on the road as they face-off with Susquehanna.