KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Feb. 11, 2018) – The USMMA men's basketball team lost at home to Skyline Conference opponent Yeshiva University, 78-67, on Sunday afternoon at the Liebertz Gymnasium in the Mariners' 2017-18 home-finale. With the loss, USMMA falls to 9-12 (7-10 Skyline), while the Maccabees improve to 14-9 (12-6 Skyline) in victory.
Prior to tipoff, the Merchant Marine men's basketball program paid tribute to its five graduating seniors with a special Senior Day Ceremony honoring Adam Church (Hedgesville, W.Va.), George Hatzioannides (Oakland Gardens, N.Y.), Robbie Kennedy (Spring Lake, N.J.), Christian Wittendorf (Granger, Ind.) and Stephen Hinton (Warrenton, Va.).
On the court, Wittendorf led the Mariners with 15 points and three other players scored in double-figures – freshman Seth Barnes (Chillicothe, Ohio) had 14 and both junior David Washington (Frisco, Texas) and freshman James Walsh (Huntington, N.Y.) each had 13 points and a team-high five rebounds apiece. Off the bench, sophomore Eric Sobocinski (Southampton, N.J.) added six points and classmate Connor Green (Flower Mound, Texas) drained four, while Hinton rounded out the USMMA scorers with two points on the game's opening layup.
The Mariners jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first minute of action, but the Macs responded with a 15-5 run to go ahead by six, 15-9, at 14:37. USMMA was able to tie the score up at 17-17 just over three minutes later and then for the next six-plus minutes every time Yeshiva took a four-point lead the Mariners responded to tie the score up until it was 27-27 at 5:21.
The score remained tied at 27 until 1:01 was left to play in the half when the Maccabees hit a layup to go up by two. Merchant Marine closed out the scoring in the first by hitting one-of-two free throws and the visitors took a 29-28 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Mariners claimed the first basket of the second to take their first lead since early on in the game, however YU answered with a three on the other end less than 30 seconds later to take a 32-30 advantage. After that, the Maccabees went on a 13-6 run to take a nine-point lead, 45-36 at 16:01, forcing USMMA to burn a timeout.
Yeshiva's lead never dropped below five points the remainder of the game, as the Macs were able to squander any momentum that Merchant Marine seemed to gain and held on for the 11-point victory.
Four of the Maccabees five starters scored in double-digits with sophomore Gabriel Leifer leading all players on the day with 21 points, 14 rebounds and five assists for the game's only double-double. Classmate Bar Alluf added 19 points and seven boards, while fellow sophomores Simcha Halpert drained 18 points and Daniel Katz had 16.
The Mariners return to the court on Tuesday night, Feb. 13, when they travel up to Newburgh, N.Y. to take on Skyline opponent Mount St. Mary. Tipoff against the Knights is scheduled for 7 p.m. at MSMC's Kaplan Center 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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