KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Jan. 16, 2016) – On Saturday, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy women's basketball team hosted Landmark Conference opponent Juniata College. The Mariners came away with a 62-54 victory over the Eagles at the Liebertz Gymnasium. It was USMMA's first win of the New Year and it halted a four-game losing skid, improving the Mariners' record to 7-8 (1-6 Landmark), while the Juniata falls to 6-10 (1-6 Landmark) in defeat.
Sophomore Tichina Carmon (Greenville, N.C.) led all players in the game with 19 points and also brought down a team-best seven rebounds to go along with a game-high five steals. Classmate Jenna Wetherington (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) added 11 points and six boards off the bench.
Sophomore Myckenzie Toler (Prunedale, Calif.) contributed nine points, while junior Allie Drake (Centereach, N.Y.) and freshman Miller Torrance (Prunedale, Calif.) both chipped in with seven points apiece from the bench. Drake brought down six boards and her twin sister, sophomore Samantha Drake (Centereach, N.Y.), recorded a game-high four blocked shots.
The Mariners were in a hole early, and had to climb back out from as high as an 11-point deficit, which they faced with just 2:51 remaining in the first half. Seven straight points to end the half cut that down to just a four-point deficit and the teams went into the locker rooms with Juniata up, 37-33.
The Merchant Marine defense stepped up in the second half and only allowed the Eagles to score 17 points in the final 20 minutes, including just seven in the third quarter. USMMA took its first lead since the opening minutes of the game at 1:46 of the third when a jumper by Wetherington fell to make the score 41-40. The Eagles responded with back-to-back jumpers, but the Mariners added three free throws in the final 34 seconds to tie the score going into the final quarter.
Allie Drake hit the first basket of the fourth to put Merchant Marine back in front and the Mariners would not relinquish the lead the remainder of the game, eventually building the advantage up to five points and holding off any Juniata rally.
The Eagles were led by sophomore Dani Atkinson, who drained a team-best 18 points to go along with a game-high four assists. Classmate Bri Wasser contributed 12 points off the bench and senior Natalie Hager led all players in the game with eight rebounds.
Up next, Merchant Marine will continue Landmark Conference action this Monday, Jan. 18, with a home game against Elizabethtown College. Tip is set for 4 p.m. at the Liebertz Gym or 30 minutes after the conclusion of the men's game beforehand. Live stats and a live video feed of the game will be available by following those links.
Follow USMMA Athletics On Social Media!
Be sure to follow USMMA Athletics on social media to get up-to-the-minute updates on your favorite teams! Start following today on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube!