KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Dec. 10, 2017) – The USMMA women's basketball team earned a 66-43 non-conference victory over Medgar Evers College on Sunday afternoon at the Liebertz Gymnasium. With the win, the Mariners improve to 4-2 on the season, while the Cougars fall to 0-9 in defeat.
Merchant Marine dedicated the game on Sunday to Head Coach Matt Dempsey, who is on the sidelines at Kings Point for his 10th year this season despite a health setback that came about this past summer. Dempsey was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his neck and has battled his way through chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, all while missing very little time at work, to stay dedicated to the USMMA women's basketball program.
During the pregame warmups, the team surprised Dempsey wearing t-shirts that had the slogan "For Coach" written on them in maroon, the color of Head and Neck Cancer Awareness. Additionally, Dempsey's daughter Alyssa surprised her father at the game wearing a shirt that read "For Dad" in maroon. It was an emotional and memorable moment at O'Hara Hall.
In the action on the court, four Mariner players scored in double-figures, including sophomore Shelby Peters (El Dorado Hills, Calif.), who recorded her team-leading third double-double of the season with 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with five steals and two assists.
Classmate Kaleigh D'Arcy (White Plains, N.Y.) and freshman Kiana Vega (El Paso, Texas) both drained a team-high 12 points apiece, with D'Arcy adding seven rebounds and three steals and Vega bringing down four boards with three assists. Off the bench, sophomore Taylor Hightower (White Plains, Md.) contributed 10 points and seven rebounds, as well as a game-high two blocks.
Senior Gabrielle Salazar (Memphis, Tenn.) had an outstanding all-around afternoon with nine points, eight rebounds, six assists and six steals. Every Mariner player that was dressed for the game scored a basket, as freshman Kathryn Kelley (Quantico, Va.) scored the first five points of her career and also brought down three boards, senior Tichina Carmon (Greenville, N.C.) added four points and five rebounds and freshmen Brianna Halvorsen (Fort Atkinson, Wis.) and Alina Montenegro (West Palm Beach, Fla.) both had fourth-quarter layups, with Montenegro's basket counting as the first two points of her career.
Medgar Evers freshman Shae-quan Brathwaite led all players in the game with 15 points, while tying with freshman Monicha Jean-Pierre with a team-best eight rebounds. Freshman Malecka Davis added eight points off the bench for the Cougars.
Up next, the Mariners hit the road for the first of five-straight road games this Tuesday night, Dec. 12, against Skyline Conference opponent Yeshiva. Tipoff against the Maccabees is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be played at the Rose Hill Gymnasium on the campus of Fordham University in the Bronx. Live stats will be available for the contest and can be accessed by following this link.
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