Men's Basketball Falls to Merchant Marine, 68-63

Men's Basketball Falls to Merchant Marine, 68-63

Men's Basketball Falls to Merchant Marine, 68-63

January 30, 2009

WASHINGTON-- In a game that saw Jason Banzhaf (Livingston, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) mark 29 points and grab six boards, the Cardinals fell for the second time this season to the Merchant Marine Academy, tonight 68-63.

In addition to Banzhaf's 29 points, Nick Olivero (Fairfax, Va./W.T. Woodson) added 12 of his own, including three triples. 

For the Mariners, Tom Izzo marked 19 points, while Matt Hueber added a double double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

In the first half, CUA opened the scoring as Evin Yarbrough (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock) hit a jumper in the first minute, but the CUA lead would be short lived as the visitors tied the game only seconds later.  The teams exchanged baskets and small leads until the hosts broke out to a five point lead with just over eight minutes left in the first half.

A pair of substitutions by the visitors sparked a 15-1 run over the next five minutes and gave the Mariners an eight point lead with 3:33 showing on the clock.  CUA battled back and tied the game going into the locker room at the break.

CUA started the half with an early basket to take the lead but again the teams would exchange baskets for the first two minutes swapping the lead three times before knotting the game at 35.

A timely 9-2 run gave the Merchant Marine Academy a seven point lead with 14:05 left.  CUA saw that margin widen to as many as 12 points with only four minutes left in the contest.

After a Spencer Reed (Haddonfield, N.J./Haddonfield Memorial) triple from the corner, and a timely turnover in the backcourt, CUA fed off the energy in the DuFour Center and cut the lead to only four point in two shots from R.J. Dixon (Charlotte, N.C./Cannon School).

Down the stretch CUA cut that four point lead to as little as two with only 13 seconds remaining but perfect free throws by the Mariners sustained their small lead to give them a five point edge as time expired.

CUA will return to action tomorrow afternoon as the Cardinals will take on Drew University at 4 p.m. in the second game of a doubleheader that will see the naming of the DuFour Center court in honor of CUA fixture and legend Franny Murray at halftime of the men's basketball game.