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Mariners Unable to Hold Second Half Lead; Fall to Juniata

Huntingdon, PA – The United States Merchant Marine Academy Mariners (7-8, 1-6) couldn't get by the Eagles of Juniata College (13-4, 4-2) Saturday afternoon, losing by a score of 69-60 in Huntingdon, PA.

USMMA started the game trading blows with the Eagles, taking their first lead (4-3) at the 17:02 mark on a layup by senior captain Tamara Kaileh (Kings Park, NY).  The Eagles swiftly came back, not relinquishing the lead for the remainder of the half.

The Mariners kept the first half close, not allowing Juniata pull away early on.  A pair of back-to-back three-pointers by senior captain Roshenda Josephs (Culpeper, VA) and sophomore guard Demi VanDerWal helped preserve a manageable deficit. 

Although the Eagles would open a 10-point lead (35-25), their largest of the contest, with 1:32 remaining in the first half, Kings Point would tack on three foul shots to cut Juniata's lead to eight heading into the break.

The Mariners would start the second half on fire, scoring 11 of the first 13 points to take a 39-37 lead with 15:15 remaining.  However, the Eagles would tie the game quickly on a jump shot by freshman guard Paige Dennison (East Berlin, PA). 

After a couple of jump shots going both ways, to tie the game at 41, Merchant Marine would go on another outstanding streak, netting 10 of the next 15 points to open a 51-46 advantage with 9:09 left to play.

 Juniata would come back to take a 53-51 lead of their own, but a layup by sophomore forward Rebecca Resor (Bay St. Lous, MS) and a free throw by junior forward Alexandra Winfree (Millstone, NJ) gave the Mariners their final lead of the contest with 5:27 remaining.

Merchant Marine was outscored by the Eagles 16-6 in the closing five and a half minutes, and would eventually be downed 69-60.

The Mariners were led in scoring by Josephs and Kaileh who scored 16 and 14 respectively and Resor grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.

USMMA will return home Wednesday night to continue their Landmark Conference schedule against the Rangers of Drew University (5-11, 1-4).