Kings Point, NY – The USMMA women's basketball team cut a late seven point deficit to just one but CCNY held off the Mariners for a 71-69 decision Wednesday night. Rebecca Resor (Bay St. Louis, MS) was strong in the loss, posting 14 points and 17 rebounds. Senior Demi VanDerWal (Springfield, IL) and Julie Mall (Littlestown, PA) also recorded a double-double for the Mariners.
Merchant Marine (1-2) opened up a 13-7 advantage in the first half on the strength of a 7-0 run. VanDerWal drained a three to cap the spurt as part of her 15 point night. The Beavers would quickly close the gap as the two sides battled evenly throughout the period. The visitors ultimately took a 37-36 edge into the intermission as Marissa Olsen buried a trey for the final points of the half.
The Mariners scored eight straight points early in the second half to grab a 44-40 lead following a Kristina Walz (Monona, IA) free throw. However, USMMA would only shoot 22.9 percent (8-35) from the floor in the frame. Merchant Marine outrebounded the Beavers, 63-44, on the night but was unable to overcome 27 total turnovers.
CCNY (1-4) broke a 56-56 deadlock with five consecutive points, including a three-pointer from Karissa Core. Core finished the night with a game high 20 points as well as five steals. Alexandra Winfree (Millstone, NJ) squeezed the Beavers lead to just one point with 32 seconds left as she grabbed an offensive rebound and completed a conventional three-point play to make it 67-66. Core would come up huge again for CCNY with a three-pointer from the corner as CCNY went up 70-66 with 18 seconds left.
Merchant Marine would get another chance as VanDerWal was fouled attempting to shoot her own three ball. The junior would make all three free throws as the Mariners again trailed by just one with seven seconds left. Latoya Lee made one-of-two free throws but three seconds ran off the clock before the Mariners could foul. Rachel Wehlburg (Herndon, VA) could only put up a desperation three on the run that missed the target and sealed the win for CCNY, 71-69.
Mall rounded out the game with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists for USMMA. Wehlburg filled out her stat line with nine points and six rebounds in just 12 minutes of action.
The USMMA women's basketball team returns to action Saturday for its Landmark Conference opener at Goucher.