KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Feb. 18, 2017) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy women's basketball team will play in a conference tournament for the first time since the 2007-08 season, as the Mariners earned the #6 seed in the upcoming Skyline Tournament by defeating visiting St. Joseph's of Long Island, 75-25, on Saturday in the regular season finale at the Liebertz Gymnasium.
The last time the Mariners reached the postseason was when the 15-11 2007-08 squad reached the Landmark Conference Tournament. This is also the first time head coach Matt Dempsey has led USMMA to the postseason in his tenure here at Kings Point.
The Mariners improve to an even 12-12 (8-10 Skyline), while the Golden Eagles finish the year with a 6-19 overall record (5-13 Skyline).
Prior to tipoff, the Mariners paid tribute to their four graduating seniors and their team manager with a special Senior Day ceremony honoring Jordy Macbeth (Orlando, Fla.), Allie Drake (Centereach, N.Y.), Rachel Wehlburg (Herndon, Va.), Kelsey Hofmann (Adel, Iowa) and manager Sara Pisarski.
On the court, four players scored in double figures for Merchant Marine with Wehlburg and freshman Kaleigh D'Arcy (White Plains, N.Y.) leading the way with 14 points each. Wehlburg recorded a double-double, as she also finished the game with 10 rebounds to lead all players. With the 14 points and 10 boards, the senior now sits at 500 points and 400 rebounds for her career.
Hofmann added 13 points and freshman Shelby Peters (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) drained 12 off the bench. D'Arcy, Hofmann and Peters all brought down seven rebounds each.
The Golden Eagles jumped out to a 6-3 lead early, but the Mariners quickly tied the score up at 7-7 at 5:49 of the first. USMMA went on to outscore St. Joseph's 19-11 after the first quarter and then held the visitors scoreless while adding 21 points in the second quarter to take a 40-11 lead into the halftime break.
The Mariner lead reach 30 points early in the third quarter, then 40 early in the fourth before reaching a game-high of 50 points late in the game – finally ending with that round 50-point advantage, 75-25.
For the Golden Eagles, freshman Juliana Cintron-Leonardo notched a team-high five points, while junior Juliana Mellor brought down a team-best eight rebounds.
The official 2017 Skyline Conference Championship field and bracket will be released late Saturday night, when pairings and times will become official. Stay logged on to www.USMMASports.com for information as it becomes available.
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Mariners Clinch Postseason Berth With 75-25 Triumph Over St. Joseph’s-L.I. On Senior Day