KINGS POINT, N.Y. – The United States Merchant Marine Academy women's basketball team lost to Landmark Conference-opponent Drew University, 61-51 in a very close game at the Liebertz Gymnasium. With the win, the Rangers improved to 11-14 overall and 4-10 in the conference. Following the loss, the Mariners dropped to 7-18 and 0-14 in their season finale.
Before the game the Mariners took time to honor their four seniors, Rebecca Grimes (Fairfax, Va.), Janay Weathers (Fredericksburg, Va.), Nicole Barriga (Bayside, N.Y.), and Meghan Dillard (Richmond, Va.), for the contributions they have made to the program over the last four years.
The two squads were evenly matched throughout the game as they traded bucket-for-bucket. A good layup by Grimes at the 8:29 mark would tie the two teams up at 16-16. Drew would respond with a fast break layup from junior guard Danielle Barber (Cape May Court House, N.J.) for the 18-16 lead. Sophomore guard Tamara Kaileh (Kings Park, N.Y.) would cash in with a three-point shot at the 4:53 mark tying the two squads up at 23-23.
The Rangers would take the lead on a good three-pointer by Barber at the 2:44 mark, which made the score 29-23 in favor of Drew. Kings Point would not back down though as throughout the end of the first half they would cut into that lead. A Grimes layup at 0:59 would chop the Drew lead to 33-26. Barber would have two good free throws on a foul by the Mariners to make the lead 35-26 at the end of the first half.
Drew would come into the second half on an offensive roll, building up to a six-point lead at the 17:38 mark. It would be a jumper by junior forward/center Victoria Ault (Middletown, N.J.) to make the Ranger lead 37-31. The Mariners would continue to battle as junior forward Alicen Heinrich (South Riding, Va.) hit a jumper at the 17:13 mark, which cut the lead down to four points.
Heinrich would strike again at the 15:26 mark, hitting a jumper in the paint to make the Drew lead 37-35. The Rangers would eventually build up their eight-point lead again, which was capped off by a fastbreak layup by Ault at the 8:42 mark which made the score 47-39.
The Rangers offense would not look back building up their lead to 11 points at the 1:56 mark as a fastbreak layup by sophomore guard Jen Mateo (Union City, N.J.) would give Drew the 61-50 lead. Kings Point would have one final point from Weathers at the 1:25 mark making her last free throw of her career, which wrapped up the game with a score of 61-51.
For the Mariners, Weathers scored a game-high double-double with 16 rebounds and 15 points, while Heinrich netted 12 points and seven boards.
For the Rangers, Barber finished with 22 points, knocking down five three-pointers, while Ault added 12, going 6-for-6 from the charity stripe.