OWINGS MILLS, Md. (Dec. 30, 2017) – The USMMA men's basketball team lost in the championship game of the Buffalo Wild Wings Classic, 75-68, to hosts Stevenson University on Saturday afternoon at the Owings Mills Gymnasium. The Mariners' record falls to 5-4 in defeat, while the Mustangs improve to 9-4.
Freshman Seth Barnes (Chillicothe, Ohio) scored 20 points to lead Merchant Marine, while sophomore Eric Sobocinski (Southampton, N.Y.) added 15, freshman Jesse Neloms (Memphis, Tenn.) had 12 off the bench and fellow plebe James Walsh (Huntington, N.Y.) contributed 11 with five rebounds and four assists.
Junior David Washington (Frisco, Texas) chipped in with eight points to go along with a team-high eight boards, three assists and a game-high three steals and sophomore Connor Green (Flower Mound, Texas) rounded out the Mariner scorers with two points, while also dishing out a game-best eight assists.
The Mariners scored the first basket of the game at 17:47 and held the lead for 2:30 before the Mustangs tied up the score at 15:17. The hosts took their first advantage at 14:22 and held the lead straight into the halftime break, where it reached 13 points, 35-22.
Stevenson built its lead up to 15 points, 40-25, early in the second before the Mariners went on an amazing 21-3 run to take a 46-43 lead at 11:15. Play was back-and-forth from there until the Mustangs scored 10-straight points in a span of nearly four minutes from 7:47 to 4:01 to go back ahead, 60-51.
After falling back behind by as many as 12 points, 65-53 at 2:46, USMMA would not go down quietly, as the Mariners came all the way back to within four points after a 15-7 run made it 72-68 with just 13 seconds to go. However, the Mustangs hit three-of-four free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.
For Stevenson, senior Danzel Wright led all players in the game with 27 points, thanks in part to a game-high five three-pointers. Junior Jaylin Johnson notched 19 points with four assists and classmate Marcus Dentley had a double-double with 10 points and a game-best 13 rebounds. Off the bench, sophomore Mark Terrell had 11 points and five boards, while junior Johnny Rhodes registered five points, five rebounds, a team-high five assists and three steals.
The Mariners are back in action in 2018, when they travel to the Bronx to face Skyline rival SUNY Maritime on Thursday night, Jan. 4. Tipoff against the Privateers is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Maritime's Riesenberg 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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