PURCHASE, N.Y. (Jan. 16, 2018) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy women's basketball team suffered a setback on the road on Tuesday night, dropping its Skyline Conference tilt at Purchase College, 62-59. In defeat, the Mariners fall to 11-4 overall (7-3 Skyline), while the Panthers' record improves to 6-7 (4-5 Skyline).
Three players scored in double-figures for USMMA with sophomore Kaleigh D'Arcy (White Plains, N.Y.) leading the squad with 16 points to go along with seven rebounds. Senior Tichina Carmon (Greenville, N.C.) added 12 points and six boards and sophomore Shelby Peters (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) had 10 points and a team-best eight rebounds.
Senior Gabrielle Salazar (Memphis, Tenn.) contributed nine points, six assists and three steals and freshman Kiana Vega (El Paso, Texas) posted six points and tied the game-high with seven assists. Off the bench, sophomore Taylor Hightower (White Plains, Md.) recorded six points and seven rebounds.
Purchase led for a majority of the game, but their advantage only reached as high as seven points twice in the first half and the Panthers held a 26-21 lead at the halftime break. The hosts' largest lead of the night, eight points (34-26), came early in the third quarter, but the Mariners fought back to take a two-point lead with 55 seconds to go in the third after a 15-5 run made it 41-39 in favor of USMMA.
The Panthers responded with a 10-2 run over the next two-plus minutes of action into the early part of the fourth to take a 49-43 lead. Purchase held the lead for nearly the entire final quarter, but the Mariners remained close before breaking ahead, 58-57, with just 50 ticks left in regulation and advancing that to 59-57 with 26 seconds to go.
However, the Panthers grabbed a rebound off a missed free-throw and hit a three-pointer to go back ahead, 60-59, at 22 seconds. Merchant Marine missed a layup on its next possession and quickly fouled, but Purchase made both attempts from the line to bring its lead to three points. After a pair of timeouts, the Mariners missed a potential game-tying three at the buzzer.
For the Panthers, junior Nyasia Harris registered a double-double with a game-high 24 points and 15 rebounds. Classmate Amber Jones added 13 points in the victory.
Up next, the Mariners will host Skyline opponent Old Westbury on Thursday night, Jan. 18. Tipoff against the Panthers is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the newly-renovated Liebertz Gymnasium. 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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