OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. (Feb. 17, 2018) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy men's basketball team ended the 2017-18 season on Saturday with a 72-68 loss on the road at Skyline opponent Old Westbury. In defeat, the Mariners finish the year with a 9-15 record (7-13 Skyline), while the Panthers improve to 12-13 (11-9 Skyline).
Senior Christian Wittendorf (Granger, Ind.) ended his career with a team-best 13-point performance, as he was one of four Mariners to score in double-figures. The others were classmate George Hatzioannides (Oakland Gardens, N.Y.) and sophomore Eric Sobocinski (Southampton, N.J.), who both had 11 points apiece, and freshman James Walsh (Huntington, N.Y.), who drained 10 points.
Junior David Washington (Frisco, Texas) contributed eight points to go along with a game-high 16 rebounds and five steals, while also tying Walsh with a team-best five assists, and freshman Seth Barnes (Chillicothe, Ohio) chipped in with nine points.
The Mariners went on a tear in the later stages of the first half. With a four-point lead, 22-18 at 5:08, USMMA went on a 16-8 run to take a 38-26 advantage into the halftime break.
The Merchant Marine lead hit its highest of 13 points, 40-27 at 17:34 of the second, however Old Westbury used a 21-8 run to tie the score up at 48-48 at 9:08. After the game was tied again at 52-apiece with 5:30 remaining, the Panthers exploded on a 15-4 run to go ahead 67-56 at 1:59. The Mariners did not go quietly, though, as they fought all the way back to within just two points, 70-68, with 18 seconds left, but OW held on for the victory with two more free throws to seal it.
For the Panthers, senior Preston Powell led all players in the game with 19 points, while junior Alan McDonald added 15 and senior Terrin Roland scored 13 to go along with a game-high seven assists. Junior Yancy Ulysse led Old Westbury with nine rebounds and also contributed five points.
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