PURCHASE, N.Y. (Feb. 10, 2016) – The USMMA women's basketball team picked up its second-straight victory on Wednesday night with a 78-53 non-conference win over Purchase College at the Panthers' Gymnasium. The Mariners improve to 9-11 overall on the season, while PC falls to 1-20 in defeat.
Sophomore Sarah Milafsky (Aurora, Colo.) drained a career-high 23 points to lead all players on the night, shooting 7-for-11 from the field (including six three pointers), while also bringing down eight rebounds.
Three other Mariners scored in double-figures – sophomore Myckenzie Toler (Prunedale, Calif.) nearly recorded a triple-double with 11 points, and a game-high 10 boards and nine assists, and junior Rachel Wehlburg (Herndon, Va.) and sophomore Jenna Wetherington (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) both contributed 10 points apiece.
The Panthers led for just a brief two-plus minutes in the first quarter, scoring the first four points of the game before the Mariners responded with eight straight on threes by sophomore Gabrielle Salazar (Memphis, Tenn.) and Toler, as well as a layup by junior Kelsey Hofmann (Adel, Iowa). Purchase fought back to within one point on four separate occasions in the opening frame, but Merchant Marine held the hosts off and led by two, 21-19, at the end of the first 10 minutes.
A 12-3 run to start the second quarter put USMMA ahead by double-figures, 33-22, at 5:39. The lead dropped down to as low as three points twice late, including after the last points scored by the Panthers on a pair of free throws with seven seconds left that made the score 40-37, which it stayed into the halftime break.
Merchant Marine outscored Purchase by a total of 16-3 in the third quarter to jump out to a 16-point lead, 56-40. The Mariners held the Panthers to just 1-for-18 (5.6-percent) shooting in the period, while themselves shooting 7-for-15 (46.7-percent).
The advantage grew to over 20 points after USMMA scored the first eight points (two threes by Milafsky that sandwiched a jumper by Wehlburg) just under two minutes into the final quarter. It remained over 20 the rest of the game, eventually reaching the highest, 25 points, with the last basket, a layup by Milafsky with 34 seconds to play.
Senior Kristine Viven led the way for Purchase with 15 points and eight rebounds, while sophomore Kayla Ortiz contributed 12 points off the bench and senior Elizabeth Osowiecki added 10.
Up next, Merchant Marine travels to Huntingdon, Pa., this Saturday, Feb. 13, for a Landmark Conference showdown with Juniata College. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. (or 25 minutes after the conclusion of the men's game beforehand) and the Eagles' Memorial Gymnasium.
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