KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Nov. 16, 2018) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy men's basketball season begins next Tuesday, Nov. 20, with a home game against Skyline Conference opponent Purchase College. That is the first of 24 total games the Mariners will play throughout the 2018-19 campaign under second-year head coach Rob Pryor.
Of the 24 games, USMMA will be home for 13 and on the road for 11. Unique to this year's schedule, ever single game will be played in the State of New York. The Mariners will play home-and-away matchups against all 10 other Skyline Conference schools, accounting for 20 games, while also squaring off against four non-conference opponents.
After the season-opener against Purchase, followed by the Thanksgiving weekend off, the Mariners will return to action on Tuesday night, Nov. 27, for a big matchup against first-year program St. Joseph of Connecticut. The Blue Jays are under the direction of Hall of Fame head coach Jim Calhoun, formerly of UConn.
November closes out with a road matchup against Sarah Lawrence College on Thursday night, Nov. 29.
The first game of December is the annual matchup against arch-rival Coast Guard on Sunday, Dec. 2, in the friendly confines of the Liebertz Gymnasium in Kings Point. The Mariners then hit the road for a Thursday night matchup on Dec. 6 at Skyline opponent Farmingdale State before back-to-back home games on Saturday, Dec. 8 against Mount St. Vincent and Tuesday, Dec. 11 against non-conference opponent CCNY.
The final two games of the 2018 portion of the schedule are a road contest at reigning Skyline Champions Yeshiva on Thursday, Dec. 13, followed by the final non-conference game of the season at the College of New Rochelle up in Westchester County on Tuesday, Dec. 18.
A total of seven of the 10 games in January are at home. The New Year begins with consecutive home games against SUNY Maritime (Saturday, Jan. 5) and Old Westbury (Tuesday, Jan. 8). USMMA hits the road for a showdown with St. Joseph's-L.I. on Thursday, Jan. 10, followed by back-to-back home games again – these against Mount St. Mary (Saturday, Jan. 12) and Farmingdale State (Tuesday, Jan. 15).
Two of the next three games are on the road, as the Mariners are on the road at St. Joseph's-Brooklyn on Saturday, Jan. 19, home against Sarah Lawrence on Wednesday, Jan. 23, and then away at Purchase on Saturday, Jan. 26.
The two St. Joseph's teams will visit O'Hara Hall the final week of January, as the Golden Eagles of SJC-Long Island are in town on Tuesday, Jan. 29, before a matchup with the Bears of SJC-Brooklyn on Thursday, Jan. 31.
Unlike January, four of the Mariners' final five games in February are on the road beginning with games at SUNY Maritime on Saturday, Feb. 2 and at Mount St. Vincent on Wednesday, Feb. 6. The final home game of the year is on Sunday, Feb. 10, against Yeshiva, followed by two straight road games to close out the season – at Old Westbury (Tuesday, Feb. 12) and at Mount St. Mary (Saturday, Jan. 16).
The top six teams at the end of the regular season will qualify for the Skyline Tournament, with the first two seeds receiving byes into the semifinals. The first round matchups of the #6 seed at the #3 seed and the #5 seed at the #4 seed will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 19. The winners will move on to face the top two seeds in the semis on Thursday, Feb. 21. The 2019 Skyline Championship Game is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 23, at the highest remaining seed in the tournament.
All Merchant Marine home games will feature live stats and live video streams on the USMMA Sports Network. Links to follow along with every game are available on the USMMA Men's Basketball Schedule Page.
In other news, the Skyline Conference announced the men's basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll last week and the Mariners were picked by the Skyline head coaches to finish in seventh place this season. Yeshiva was selected to repeat as conference champions, while Farmingdale State came in second and Purchase and Old Westbury tied for third. Also finishing ahead of USMMA were St. Joseph's-Brooklyn in fifth and Mount St. Vincent in sixth.
Behind Merchant Marine in the poll were Mount St. Mary in eighth, Sarah Lawrence in ninth, SUNY Maritime in 10th and St. Joseph's-L.I. in 11th.
To view the complete Skyline Preseason Coaches' Poll, click here.
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