Men’s Basketball looks to bounce back this season

team looks for quick turnaround as they drop first 3

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The men’s basketball team at Mercy College has struggled in recent years.  Posting records of 4-22 in the last two seasons, this season should prove to be different.  With a great core of returning seniors the Mavericks look to rebound from their woes and shoot for the goal to be relevant in the East Coast Conference.

The team looks to bounce back and make a statement in the East Coast Conference.  Without their leading scorer returning for a third straight season, the Mavericks will have to look to one of their three returning starters to generate points on offense. The Mavericks schedule starts out with three of their first five games on the road.  Besides one conference game at home against St Thomas Aquinas on Saturday, Nov. 30, the team will not start heavy conference play until the middle of December.

Men’s basketball tipped off the 2013 season on the road at Nyack.  Despite gutsy efforts from sophomore guard Nate Stitchell, who poured in 18 points and dished out six assists, and senior forward LeBrandon Smith scoring 14 points on 7-14 shooting and snatching four rebounds, the Mavericks fell short losing the game by a score of 87-71.  The Mavericks shot an impressive 41 percent from the field and shot even better from behind the arch, sinking 44% of their 3 point shots.  As both teams started off a bit sluggish the Mavericks found themselves in a back and forth battle for the lead, as both teams put together good runs.  The Mavericks held the lead 38-37 with just under 2 and a half minutes to play, but Nyack closed out the half on a 6-1 run and took the lead 43-39 going in to the break.  The first 2 minutes of the second half were a battle as the Mavericks were tied with the warriors 48-48 with just over 17 minutes left to go.  Nyack managed to put together a 10-0 run to take the lead but the Mavericks battled back and cut the lead to 2 with 10 minutes left in the second half.  With 3 straight offensive charging fouls called on the Mavericks, they found themselves without any presence in the paint.  Nyack took advantage and cruised to a 87-71 victory.

The next game proved to be a difficult task as the Mavericks faced Caldwell in a non conference showdown.  The Mavericks LeBrandon Smith scored 15 points, and Terrance Murchie added 14 points, but the Mavericks fell short in a blowout loss 89-59.  The Mavericks rallied early in the second half but just could not turn it around as five of the Caldwell players scored in double digits.  The loss brings the Mavericks record to 0-2 for the season.

A showdown with Georgian Court, another non conference opponent, was next on the schedule and the last of the first three away games for the Mavericks.  In a hard fought effort the Mavericks fell short, losing a close one 87-82.  Senior LeBrandon Smith scored a career high 25 points in the loss, and senior Chaz Morrish added 15 points and dished out six assists.  Sophomore Daniel Perrot also contributed 11 points off the bench.  The Mavericks shot 45 percent from the feild and 35 percent from behind the arch, which were both beteer than their opponent.  The Mavericks found themselves down 19 points, but scored 10 straight unanswered points and cut the lead to eight with just about five minutes to play.  The Mavericks continued to play with extreme intensity, chipping away at the lead but free throws proved to be the deciding factor as Caldwell made two free throws with two seconds left, icing the game for the Lions.  With the loss the Mavericks fall to 0-3 for the season.

On Tuesday Nov. 26 the Mavericks host their home opener against Holy Family University at 7 p.m. where they will be looking for their first win of the season.