The United States Merchant Marine Academy men's basketball team snapped its two game losing streak to end the 2005 portion of the season with a 80-65 triumph over New York College City Tech to start the New Year in style.
USMMA got off to a strong start with an 11-4 run to establish the tempo. Junior Stephen McDade broke the 2-all tie with a three ball from the left wing to give the Mariners an early 5-2 lead. McDade added two more after cashing in on a Tech turnover, plus another field goal moments later to cap his own 7-0 run to assist USMMA to a 9-2 lead.
The Yellow Jackets then put together a small run of their own to make it a four point deficit (14-10) nearing the midway point of the first half, but the Mariners would once again answer the bell with a 7-0 spurt to take their largest lead of the frame - 11 points - courtesy a Zach Wyatte lay up with 6:38 left in the period. But Tech continued to pester Kings Point with another large run (16-7) to make it a two-point affair at the break, 34-32.
In the second half it did not take long for USMMA to once again reestablish the momentum with an 8-0 run to take a 42-32 lead less than 90 seconds into the stanza. But again the Mariners failed to swat the bugs, who came back to tie the game with 14:41 remaining with a 10-0 run of their own.
A few minutes later the Jackets would take their first and only lead of the night as Clyde Forteau completed a three point play to give Tech a 48-47 advantage, but the Mariners would quickly reclaim the lead with one of four three balls on the night by junior guard Brian Kelly.
Sophomore forward Jimmy Sanders, seeing his first action of the season, coming off an injury, followed suit with a long ball to give USMMA a five point edge, 56-51. A three ball by Kelly and five straight points from freshman Matt Oaks matched Kings Point's largest lead of the night (11 points), 64-53, with 6:34 left in the contest.
New York City College Tech (3-7) would pull to within seven, but could not muster another significant run to sting the Mariners, as USMMA pulled away at the end with a 15-point victory.
"This is the first game that we've had all 15 guys healthy," remarked fifth year head coach Chris Carideo. "The guys played hard and better defensively in the first half. Tech controlled the offensive glass in the first half, but we contained them to just 5 offensive rebounds in the second."
Kings Point was led by four players in double-figures, including Kelly with a team-best 16 points. Paul Tricarico and Sanders added 15, while Wyatte chipped in with 13 points and eight boards.
"Kelly made shots," said Carideo. "We shot much better from the field, which is something that we've emphasized especially on our own home court. Our depth really helped us tonight."
Four Jackets likewise notched double-figures for Tech. Jamaal Hall led the way with a game-high 18 points, while Forteau added 12. Daniel Fouche and Otis Saylee chipped in with 10 points in the losing effort.