Kings Point, N.Y. - Preston Padgett (Leavenworth, Kansas) grabbed an offensive rebound, got fouled, and made two free throws with 27.9 seconds left to break a 64-64 tie and send the United States Merchant Marine Academy to a 68-66 win over the visiting Trinity College Bantams this evening inside O'Hara Hall. Trinity drops to 9-6. The Mariners snapped a four game losing streak, overcoming an 11-point deficit with 12:44 remaining in regulation to improve to 6-8.
Junior forward Alex Conaway (New Haven, Conn.) anchored the Bantam offense with 14 points while junior co-captain center George Papadeas (Athens, Greece) totaled eight points and 13 rebounds. Trinity shot 21.4 percent (3-14) from downtown and 53.6 percent (15-28)at the free throw line. The Marinerrs made just 17-of-34 (50%) from the charity stripe. Padgett scored a game high 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Nick Sergio (Patchogue, N.Y.) added a 15-point, 11-rebound performance.
Trinity engineered a 16-4 run over 6:30 minutes early in the second half to open up a 48-37 cushion on a Rick Naylor (Sudbury, Vt.) jump shot. Merchant Marine came back with a 12-3 run and knotted the score at 57-57 with 5:08 on the clock. The Bantams grabbed a 64-62 edge on a Papadeas layup through traffic, but Merchant Marine tied it with 31 seconds to play when Hunter Jones (Goodyear, Ariz.) and David Smith (LAkewood, Wash.) each made a free throw. Following Padgett's free throws, Zach Karczewski (Austin, Texas) made a steal and converted both free throws, before Trinity sophomore guard Jaquann Starks (Hartford, Conn.) answered by knocking down a jumper with one second to go. The Mariners inbounded the ball quickly and the horn sounded.