Kings Point, NY – In a true team effort, the United States Merchant Marine Academy Mariners (8-12, 1-10 LC) bested the College of New Rochelle Blue Angels (7-14, 2-2 HVWAC) by a score of 80-51 Monday night in Kings Point, NY.
A total of four Mariners reached double figures, led by sophomore guard Demi VanDerWal (Springfield, IL) who scored a game-high 18 points and also tallied five steals. Sophomore forward Rebecca Resor (Bay St. Louis, MS) picked up her team-leading sixth double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Senior captains Roshenda Josephs (Culpeper, VA) and Tamara Kaileh (Kings Park, NY) tacked on 14 and 13 points respectively. Josephs' four steals puts her closer to the Kings Point single season record, needing just nine more by season's end.
Despite getting on the board first with a quick VanDerWal layup, Merchant Marine fell behind New Rochelle early as the Blue Angels opened an 11-6 advantage in the first five minutes of play.
Josephs responded with a jumper to bring the Mariners within three, but the Blue Angels quickly struck back; extending their lead to seven at the 11:44 mark of the first half.
This would end up being the largest advantage of the game for New Rochelle as the Mariners eventually turned the tide, ending the half on a 28-9 run as they took a twelve point lead in to the break.
The Mariners picked up right where they left off at the end of the first half, starting the second with a Kaileh jumper 23 seconds in.
Merchant Marine outscored New Rochelle 18-0 on fast break points and caused a total of 28 turnovers, allowing the Mariners to capitalize on advantageous situations.
A VanDerWal layup at the 17:12 mark put Merchant Marine up 51-30. It ended up being smooth sailing for the rest of the contest as the Blue Angels were unable to get the margin back under 20.
Aside from a bit of a sluggish start, the Mariners put together two solid halves of basketball, evenly dividing their scoring production in half, tallying 40 in each frame.
It was a much-needed win for Kings Point as they came into the contest with a six game losing streak; their longest since November-December of 2011.
Monday also kicked off USMMA's "Think Pink" initiative to raise Breast Cancer awareness. During both women's basketball games this week (2/4, 2/7) players, coaches, and game-day staff will be sporting USMMA "Think Pink" t-shirts and other pink attire in support of the cause.
The Mariners will take on another non-conference opponent, Medgar Evers (0-21, 0-12 CUNYAC) Thursday night February, 4 at 7:00 PM in Kings Point.