OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. (Feb. 14, 2019) – For the first time in program history, the USMMA women's basketball team has reached the 20-win plateau, as a 63-58 road Skyline victory at Old Westbury on Thursday night improved the Mariners' record to 20-2 (16-1 Skyline). The Panthers fall to 19-5 (12-5) with the loss.
Five players scored in double-figures for Merchant Marine, with junior Kaleigh D'Arcy (White Plains, N.Y.) leading the way with 17 points. Classmate Taylor Hightower (White Plains, Md.) filled the stat sheet with 12 points, eight rebounds, five blocks, four steals and three assists.
Freshman Julia Dahlke (San Diego, Calif.) added 11 points, while classmate Lauren Hunter (Tinley Park, Ill.) and sophomore Kiana Vega (El Paso, Texas) both had 10 points each. Junior Shelby Peters (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) brought down a team-best 10 rebounds.
The Mariners raced out to an 11-point lead, 13-2, just over halfway through the opening quarter, and traded baskets the rest of the way to finish the first up 17-6. Their advantage hit as high as 13 points at 9:03 of the second when a layup by Hightower made it 19-6.
OW responded with an 11-2 run to come back within four points, 21-17, at 4:57, but Merchant Marine answered with a strong effort to go back up by double-digits, 31-21, at 2:26 and they went into the locker room at halftime with a 33-24 lead.
The Mariners spent a majority of the rest of the game with a comfortable double-digit advantage save for a few times late in the third quarter and then again in the closing minutes. A layup by the Panthers as time expired was the closest the hosts got.
Junior Davida Warren notched a double-double for Old Westbury with a game-high 25 points to go along with 17 rebounds. Senior Charlotte Renker led all players on the night with 18 rebounds and was one of three Panthers to score nine points – joining classmates Tori Bellings and Monique Joseph in doing so.
The Mariners close out the regular season on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 16, up in Newburgh, N.Y. against the top team in the Skyline Conference, Mount St. Mary. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Knights' Kaplan Center. Live stats and a live video feed of the game will be available with links on the USMMA Women's Basketball Schedule Page.
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