MMA basketball reaches mid-season mark

MMA’s Jillian Perron sets her shot

Jillian Perron of the Maine Maritime Academy Mariners sets up a shot against Fontbonne in Nashville. The women traveled to play in the Music City Classic on December 29 and 30. Photo by Tony Llerena/Maine Maritime Academy Athletics

CASTINE—Maine Maritime Academy men’s and women’s basketball teams are nearing the halfway point of the 2014-15 NCAA Division III season, with the men at 1-9 and the women, slightly better, at 3-7.

But the numbers tell only part of the story.

The latest game scores for the Mariner women were a lopsided event: an 88-31 win on December 9 over UM-Machias was followed by a 70-46 loss to Castleton. The next day saw the women win 81-26 over New Hampshire’s Green Mountain. Two weeks later, after the winter break, it was a 78-23 loss to St. Vincent College in Nashville.

The St. Vincent game was the first of two games the team played in the Music City Classic, hosted by Trevecca Nazarene College on December 29 and 30. Kristi Willey led the Mariners with six points and a block. Charlette Bradley and Mary Badeen pulled down 11 rebounds and scored four points each.

The next day the Mariners fell 55-45 to Fontbonne in a close, back-and-forth game. The Mariners began with an 11-0 deficit before surging into a 20-17 lead with just over five minutes left in the first half. Fontbonne then closed the gap and more, leading 29-22 heading into the second half.

The Mariners tied the game at 34 with nine minutes remaining when Maggie McConkey scored six straight unanswered points, but Fontbonne then went on a seven-point run and never looked back.

Jillian Perron ended the afternoon with a career-high 14 points to lead the Mariners, while adding three rebounds, two assists and a block. Badeen recorded 11 points, six assists, five rebounds, three steals and a block. Willey pulled in a game-high nine rebounds, while adding six points, two assists and two steals.

The Mariner men traveled to the Bronx for the Eighth Annual Coaches vs. Cancer Basketball Classic held on December 30.

“Many of our guys have never been to New York City before, so to be able to experience all the Big Apple has to offer culturally, along with competing against a top flight opponent and raising money for cancer research, this trip truly was a win for our program despite the game’s result,” said head coach David Muchnick in a Mariners Athletics press release.

The Mariners jumped out to a 10-9 lead early in the first half, but Lehman then outscored Maine Maritime 31-14 to take a 40-24 lead into the half.

Lehman came out strong in the second half, steadily increasing their lead until Nick Holt, of Ellsworth, scored 10 straight unanswered points to give the Mariners momentum. However, Lehman’s lead proved to be too large for Maine Maritime to overcome, falling 80-54.

Holt ended the afternoon with a team-high 16 points, two rebounds and an assist while Tyler Thayer added 11 points, four rebounds, two steals and an assist. Brian Goda led the Mariners off the bench with 10 points, three defensive boards, and a pair of steals.

“The entire trip has been a very rewarding both educational and athletic experience for our players and staff,” said Muchnick.

Alumni Weekend

The Mariners will showcase their skills at the Basketball Alumni Weekend on Friday and Saturday, January 23 and 24.

The Mariners face off against Lyndon State College on Friday, with the women tipping off at 5:30 p.m., and the men at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, an 11 a.m. alumni game will be followed by the women playing Johnson State College at 1 p.m. and the men’s tip-off at 3 p.m.

Editor’s note: Compiled from press releases issued by Maine Maritime Athletics.

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