KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Jan. 6, 2018) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy men's basketball team lost a tough Skyline Conference contest to visiting Old Westbury, 79-71, on Saturday in the first game of 2018. In defeat, the Mariners fall to an even 5-5 (3-3 Skyline) on the season, while the Panthers improve to 4-7 (3-3 Skyline).
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Freshman James Walsh (Huntington, N.Y.) led four USMMA players in double-figures with 15 points, while classmate Seth Barnes (Chillicothe, Ohio) added 12. Sophomore Eric Sobocinski (Southampton, N.J.) drained 11 points in the loss and senior Robbie Kennedy (Spring Lake, N.J.) contributed 10 points off the bench.
Junior David Washington (Frisco, Texas) brought down a team-high seven rebounds and tied for the game-high with three blocks, while sophomore Connor Green (Flower Mound, Texas) chipped in with nine points and led all players with six assists.
At two different points throughout the game, Old Westbury went on big streaks to cut into a Mariner lead before earning the victory with a strong second half.
Merchant Marine led by as many as 13 points, 19-6, at 12:45 of the first but saw the advantage dwindle down to seven points at 4:04, 31-24. From there, the Panthers rattled off an 11-5 run, taking a two-point lead late before a three-point play by Walsh ended the action in the half with the Mariners ahead, 36-35.
USMMA came out hot to start the second half, building up a lead of 16 points, 56-40, at 12:31 after opening on a 20-5 run. However, Old Westbury came all the way back to tie the score up at 66-66 at 4:03 after a 26-10 run. They took their first lead of the half just over a minute later and, as part of 11-straight points, went on to go up by six points, 72-66, at 1:06. The Mariners tried fouling late to get possession back, but the Panthers nailed 7-of-8 free throws in the final minute to seal the Skyline win.
Old Westbury also had four score in double-figures with junior Alan McDonald leading all players in the game with 16 points off the bench, including 11 in the second half alone, and he also brought down seven rebounds. Sophomore Julieon Boney contributed 13 points, while and juniors Yancy Ulysse and Brandon Thomson both scored 12 points. Ulysse and classmate Stanley Baker both recorded a game-high eight rebounds apiece. Boney added two assists and tied for the game-high with three blocks and senior Terrin Roland led the Panthers with four assists.
Up next, the Mariners will travel to nearby Throggs Neck in the Bronx, N.Y., to take on Skyline rival SUNY Maritime on Monday night, Jan. 8, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Privateers' Riesenberg Hall 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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