NEW LONDON, Conn. (Dec. 5, 2017) – The USMMA men's basketball team traveled up to Coast Guard on Tuesday night and lost a nail-biter to its bitter rival in overtime, 93-88, at the Bears' Roland Hall Gym. In defeat, the Mariners fall to 2-2, while Coast Guard wins its fifth-straight and improves to 5-1.
Freshman James Walsh (Huntington, N.Y.) recorded a team-high 20 points off the bench on 7-of-13 shooting with six three-pointer. He was one of six Mariners to score in double-figures. Sophomore Eric Sobocinski (Southampton, N.J.) added 15 points on five 3's and freshman Seth Barnes (Chillicothe, Ohio) chipped in with 14 points and five rebounds.
Junior David Washington (Frisco, Texas) nearly had a double-double with 13 points and a team-best nine boards and senior George Hatzioannides (Oakland Gardens, N.Y.) drained 10 points with five rebounds and five assists. Sophomore Connor Green (Flower Mound, Texas) contributed eight points and four assists on the night.
Coast Guard came out very strong to start the game, taking just four-plus minutes to build up a double-digit lead. Their advantage reached as high as 12 points on two separate occasions, including a 29-17 lead at 9:04. The Mariners responded with an 18-7 run over the next six minutes and pulled within one point, 36-35 at 2:56, on a three by Walsh. The hosts responded with a trey of their own and play was back-and-forth until the Bears hit another three in the final seconds to take a 46-41 lead into halftime.
It didn't take long for the Coast Guard advantage to hit double-digits again, as the Bears started the second half on a 6-0 run to take a 52-41 lead at 18:36. After the two teams traded the next nine baskets over the next six minutes, the Mariners fought back to within three, 60-57 at 11:04, after a 7-2 run. USCGA built up a six-point advantage, 64-58, at 9:00.
The Mariners then went on a great 19-7 run to take a 77-71 lead with 3:55 left in regulation. However, the Bears responded with eight-straight points to go ahead 79-77 at 1:24. Hatzioannides hit two free-throws with 11 seconds to go to tie the score and the Mariners got the ball back after a turnover, but were unable to convert and the game went to overtime.
In the extra period, Coast Guard scored the first six points and were a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor. The Mariners chipped away at the deficit and got to within one, 89-88, on a tip-in by Washington with 46 seconds left. A three-pointer by Bears' sophomore Packy Witkowski on the next possession helped to seal the victory for Coast Guard.
Witkowski led all players on the night with 25 points, while sophomore Justin Kane added 21 points and had a double-double with 11 rebounds. Classmate Noah Baldez also recorded a double-double with 17 points and a game-high 12 boards to go along with seven assists, which led all players. Junior Bryce Schroeder rounded out the Bears' double-digit scorers with 11 points.
The Mariners are back in action this Thursday night, Dec. 7, with a home Skyline Conference contest against preseason favorite Farmingdale State. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Liebertz Gymnasium. Live stats and a live video feed of the game will be available with links on the USMMA Men's Basketball Schedule Page.
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