ALBANY, N.Y (Feb. 21, 2017) – The 2016-17 U.S. Merchant Marine Academy women's basketball season came to an end on Tuesday night, as the #6-seeded Mariners fell to #3 seed Sage, 64-47, in the first round of the Skyline Conference Championship up at the Gators' Kahl Gymnasium.
Freshman Shelby Peters (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) led USMMA with a career-high 14 points and 16 rebounds for her team-best third double-double of the season. Classmate Kaleigh D'Arcy (White Plains, N.Y.) contributed 12 points and six rebounds and senior Allie Drake (Centereach, N.Y.) added 10 points off the bench.
The Mariners played a strong opening quarter in which they scored the first five points and then replicated that game-high five-point lead twice more over the opening four minutes. They finished the first quarter with a narrow 15-14 advantage, however, and the Gators had the momentum in the second, quickly taking their first lead of the game just 24 ticks into action and they held it the remainder of the quarter.
Sage outscored Merchant Marine, 14-7, in the second frame to take a 28-22 lead into the halftime break.
The Gators' advantage hit double-digits, 32-22, in the first minute of play in the third quarter and, later in the quarter, hit 10 points again – 38-28 at 6:05. The Mariners used an 8-1 run over the next four and half minutes to cut their deficit down to just three, 39-36, but Sage scored the final five points of the quarter in the final 1:09 to take a 44-36 lead in to the final quarter.
After the opening basket of the fourth by Merchant Marine made it a six-point game, 44-38 at 7:59, the Gators went on a big 14-4 run to take a commanding 58-42 lead with just 3:43 remaining that helped to seal their victory and date with #2 seed Mount St. Mary in the Skyline Quartfinals on Thursday night.
Sage sophomore Emily Parslow scored a game-high 23 points, notching her 1,000th career point in the process, while junior Genevieve Schoff chipped in with 13 and senior Frankie Pearson finished with 11. Off the bench, freshman Gessica Patregnani brought down a team-best seven rebounds for the Gators.
The Mariners earned three more wins in 2016-17 than last season, as the program continues to improve year-by-year for the third-straight season now. They ended this campaign with a 12-13 overall record, including an 8-10 mark in Skyline Conference action and ended an eight-year postseason drought.
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Basketball Season Concludes With 64-47 Loss At Sage In Skyline First Round