Kings Point, NY| The St. Joseph's College (L.I.) men's basketball team was sunk by a slow start in a 68-51 defeat to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy on Tuesday evening.
The loss sends the Golden Eagles to 5-14 overall on the year and 4-10 in Skyline Conference play as the Mariners improve to 6-11 (4-9 Skyline).
SJC scored three players in double-digits, including junior Frank Basile, who tallied a team-best 19 points.
Freshman Matthew Hirdt posted his second double-double in the last three games with a 10-point, 11-rebound (game high) performance. The guard also dished out a team-best three assists.
Senior Mike Harris shot 3-for-6 from three and contributed 10 points.
USMMA was led by James Walsh, who scored a game-best 30 points on 11-for-17 shooting from the field.
St. Joseph's led 11-5 with 14:42 to play in the first half but failed to score for the next 17 minutes. A pair of Basile free throws 2:18 into the second half (42-13) ended SJC's skid and kickstarted a 33-13 run that brought the guests back to within 10 points (55-45) with 5:40 remaining in regulation.
Despite bringing themselves back within striking range of the Mariners, the Golden Eagles conceded the next eight points and eventually dropped a 68-51 decision.
SJC was outshot from the field and from three but outrebounded USMMA 39-30 and was the superior team at the charity stripe (92.3% to 81.8%).
The Golden Eagles return to action on Thursday, January 31 when they host SUNY Old Westbury for a Skyline Conference contest at 7:30 pm.