KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Jan. 21, 2016) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy women's basketball team defeated arch-rival Coast Guard, 59-43, at home on Thursday night at the Liebertz Gymnasium. The Mariners improve to 7-9 overall on the year (exceeding their win-total from last season), while the Bears fall to 8-7.
Sophomore Sarah Milafsky (Aurora, Colo.) led the way for USMMA with a career-best 17 points, all coming in the second quarter, helping the Mariners distance themselves from Coast Guard. Classmate Tichina Carmon (Greenville, N.C.) registered her team-leading sixth double-double of the year with 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
Every player that played for the Mariners scored, as junior Allie Drake (Centereach, N.Y.) added seven points to go along with six boards, sophomore Jenna Wetherington (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) tallied six points, both junior Kelsey Hofmann (Adel, Iowa) and sophomore Gabrielle Salazar (Memphis, Tenn.) contributed five points each, sophomore Myckenzie Toler (Prunedale, Calif.) chipped in with four and junior Rachel Wehlburg (Herndon, Va.) and sophomore Samantha Drake (Centereach, N.Y.) both had two points.
Merchant Marine led from practically the beginning of the game to the end, as they outscored Coast Guard 15-6 in the first quarter alone. The Mariners held the Bears to just two points for most of the opening quarter until Coast Guard scored two baskets in the final 3:14.
The second quarter was the "Sarah Milafsky Show," as the sophomore checked into the game to start the frame and scored the first 17 points for the Mariners on six straight shots over an eight-minute span (including five three-pointers), expanding the Mariners' lead to as many as 16 points with 2:40 to go. Wehlburg and Wetherington added late baskets and the Mariners went into the locker room up by 18 points, 36-18.
USMMA got its lead up to as many as 20 points, 43-23, at 3:13 of the third quarter, but the Bears wouldn't go quietly, as they rattled off nine straight points to make it an 11-point game with under a minute to go in the third. The Mariners bounced back with five straight, all coming via free throws.
In the fourth, the home advantaged reached 20 again, and didn't fall back below 12, as Coast Guard threatened late, but the Mariners squashed any chance of a comeback.
For the Bears, senior Torie Sutherland led all players in the game with 18 points (16 of which came in the second half). Sophomore Gill Gerton brought down a team-leading nine rebounds to go along with three steals.
The Mariners were supposed to return to action this Saturday with a road Landmark game at Catholic, but because of Winter Storm Jonas, the contest has been rescheduled to Sunday, Feb. 21. More information on the switch will be available on Friday on www.USMMASports.com.
Merchant Marine's next game will now be on Wednesday, Jan. 27, when the squad hosts conference foe Moravian for a 7 p.m. start (or a half-hour after the conclusion of the men's game beforehand). Live stats and a live video feed of the game will be available by following those links.
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