KINGS POINT, N.Y (Feb. 21, 2017) – The #6 seed U.S. Merchant Marine Academy women's basketball team will travel up to Albany, N.Y., on Tuesday night to take on #3 Sage in the first round of the Skyline Conference Championships. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Gators' Kahl Gymnasium.
Mariners In Conference Postseason Tournament For Just Seventh Time In Program History
The 2016-17 season is the USMMA women's basketball program's 16th campaign and the Mariners have made it to a conference tournament just six times in program history. All six were in consecutive seasons from 2002-03 to 2007-08, the first five as part of the Skyline Conference and the last in the team's first season in the Landmark Conference.
Tonight's contest will mark the first postseason game under ninth-year head coach Matt Dempsey, as he will look to lead the Mariners to the program's first tournament victory since the 2004-05 season. Merchant Marine has played in a total of seven games and have a 1-6 record in those contests.
How They Got Here
The Mariners clinched the #6 seed of the Skyline Conference Tournament this past Saturday with a 75-25 home victory over St. Joseph's of Long Island. They completed the regular season with an 8-10 mark in Skyline Conference action. Merchant Marine compiled even 12-12 record overall this year under Dempsey.
Sage earned the #3 seed just this past weekend as well, as they leap-frogged Mount St. Vincent for that spot. The Gators defeated Purchase, 89-43, on Saturday to finish with a 13-5 Skyline record and with CMSV's home loss to Farmingdale St., both the Gators and Dolphins finished with identical Skyline records and Sage owned the tie-breaker to claim the third-seed. The Gators compiled a 17-8 overall record under third-year head coach Allison Coleman.
Last Times They Met
The two teams met twice throughout the 2016-17 season and Sage won both matchups, claiming a 69-47 home victory back on Jan. 11 and a 52-43 road win at Kings Point just 10 days ago on Feb. 11.
In the January meeting up in Albany, freshman Shelby Peters (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) led the way for Merchant Marine with nine points and a game-high 12 rebounds, while classmate Kaleigh D'Arcy (White Plains, N.Y.) added seven points, five boards and four assists. Two players recorded six points each for the Mariners – senior Kelsey Hofmann (Adel, Iowa) and junior Sarah Milafsky (Aurora, Colo.). Three of Sage's five starters scored in double-figures, with sophomore Emily Parslow leading all players in the game with 19 points. Classmate Kaitlyn Bowman added 13 and junior Genevieve Schoff contributed 12 to the victory. Senior Frankie Pearson brought down a team-high eight rebounds, while also scoring nine points.
Back on Feb. 11, senior Rachel Wehlburg (Herndon, Va.) led USMMA with 10 points in the home loss, while Peters added nine and D'Arcy chipped in with eight. Both Peters and Wehlburg tied for the team-high with eight rebounds each. Two players for Sage led everyone on the court with 18 points each on the afternoon - Schoff and Bowman. Schoff also finished with a game-high 12 rebounds for a double-double.
Players To Watch
For Merchant Marine, Kaleigh D'Arcy has recorded a team-best 11.3 points per game, 2.3 assists per game, 2.1 steals per game, 0.8 blocks per game, a .347 three-point field goal percentage and 52 free throws made, while ranking second on the team in field goal percentage (.417) and rebounds (5.9 per game). Shelby Peters is the team-leader in rebounds with 8.0 points per game.
Sage has four players that are averaging double-digit scoring so far this season – Genevieve Schoff leads the way with 14.4 points per game, Kaitlyn Bowman is second with 11.1, Emily Parslow is third with 10.5 and Frankie Pearson is fourth, averaging 10.3 points per game. Schoff is just 0.2 rebounds per game away from averaging a double-double, as she leads the Gators with 9.8 boards per game, while also recording a team-best 1.3 blocks per game. Parslow is the team leader with 3.5 assists per game, while Pearson leads Sage with 1.7 steals per game.
Live stats and a live video feed of Tuesday's contest will be available! The live stats can be accessed by clicking here, while the live video stream of the game is accessible by following this link.
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Skyline WBB Preview: #6 Mariners Travel To #3 Sage Tuesday Night For First Round Matchup