Baltimore, MD – The USMMA men's basketball team dropped a 72-65 verdict Saturday night at Goucher in the Landmark Conference opener for both teams. The Gophers converted on 32 total free throws in the contest, including 23-of-30 (76.7%) in the second half. Nick Sergio (Patchogue, NY) recorded a double-double for the Mariners with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Goucher (3-3, 1-0 Landmark) jumped out to a 12-1 lead to start the contest as five different Gophers would reach double digits in points. Jesse Mondry led the way with 15 points as well as knocking down three trifectas. The Gophers were able to overcome a 49-32 rebounding advantage held by the Mariners.
Merchant Marine (2-3, 0-1 Landmark) stormed back and took the lead following five consecutive points from David Smith (Lakewood, WA). Smith had a second straight strong game of the bench for USMMA as the sophomore netted 12 points. Classmate Scott Dennin (Gilbertsville, PA) rounded out his stat line with nine points, three blocks, and a team high 12 rebounds. Merchant Marine closed out the period on a 28-10 run to take a 40-28 advantage into the intermission.
The Gophers chipped away at the Mariners lead from the opening whistle of the second half. Goucher went back ahead for the final time following a 9-0 spurt that gave the home side a 53-50 edge. The lead grew until Matthew Miller (Augusta, GA) made a layup, as part of his eight points, with 1:49 left in regulation to cut the deficit to 68-63.
The Mariners would not get any closer as the team finished just 2-of-16 (12.5%) from three-point range. Merchant Marine committed 17 fouls in the second half as the Gophers outscored USMMA 44-25 in the period en route to the seven-point victory.
The Merchant Marine men's basketball team returns to the court Tuesday night for a match-up against rival Coast Guard.