KINGS POINT, N.Y.— Junior Reed Buck led all scorers with 22 points and the Mariners ended the first half on a 16-3 run and began the second half with a 13-3 spurt en route to a 72-44 win over rival Coast Guard.
Merchant Marine improves to 3-2 on the season while the Bears lost their fourth straight to drop to 1-5 overall.
The first half featured runs by both teams as Coast Guard led 5-4 before the Mariners used an 11-2 spurt to take a 15-7 lead with 11:05 left in the first half.
Merchant Marine led 19-9 with 9:04 left before the Bears responded with a 10-3 run, the final five points by junior Devonte Weems to cut the deficit to 22-19 with 5:32 remaining.
Coast Guard would score just one basket the rest of the first half, a 3-pointer by senior Greg Marshall as the Mariners ended the half on a 16-3 run and led 38-22 at the break.
The Mariners were red hot in the first half making 15 of 26 from the floor (57.7 percent) including six of 11 from 3-point range (54.5 percent). All nine players that saw action in the first 20 minutes had a field goal in the opening half for Merchant Marine.
Coast Guard was 8 of 24 (33.3 percent) in the opening stanza and made 3 of 6 from behind the arc.
Merchant Marine put the game away early in the second half with a 13-3 run to begin the half turning a 38-22 halftime lead into a 51-25 bulge with 15:12 left in the game.
The Bears would score eight straight capped on back-to-back baskets by sophomore Will Doyle making the score 51-33 with 11:21 left, but that would be as close as Coast Guard would get the rest of the way.
Freshman Ryan McNeil came off the bench and had a season-high eight points, all in the second half. He made a pair of 3-pointers, the first two of his young career. McNeil and Marshall each led the Bears with eight points apiece while freshman Aurimas Juodka tied a career-high with seven rebounds in the loss. Weems led the Bears with five assists.
Merchant Marine shot 46.8 percent from the field (29-62) while making 11 of 27 from behind the arc while the Bears were 16 for 51 from the floor (31.4 percent) while making 6 of 18 from 3-point range in the game.
The Bears are back in action on Tuesday, Dec. 11th when they host Roger Williams at 7 p.m.