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Mariners women drop Landmark opener to Drew

KINGS POINT, N.Y. – Junior guard Tamara Kaileh of Kings Park, N.Y. scored 14 points, but it wasn't enough for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy as the Mariners lost their Landmark Conference women's opener to Drew University, 65-50, on Saturday night.

The Mariners fell to 0-3 overall and 0-1 in the conference, while the Rangers improved to 3-3 overall and 1-0 in Landmark.

Kaileh, who connected for 10 first-half points, sank seven-of-nine field-goal attempts before the Kings Park, N.Y. native fouled out with 4:27 remaining in the game at Liebertz Gymnasium.

 In fact, Kaileh sparked the Mariners to an 8-2 advantage in the opening 2:35 as she hit three driving layups around an Alicen Heinrich jumper from the foul line.

But the Mariners endured a scoreless drought over 8:15 before Emily Meehan (six points) sank a layup with 9:20 remaining the half. By then, the Rangers had outscored the hosts, 10-2, for a 12-10 lead and never looked back.

Kings Point moved within 13-12 on Kaileh's short jump shot with 8:16 left in the half. But slowly, but surely, Drew pulled away to a 31-22 halftime lead. Danielle Barber scored 10 of her game-high 18 points in the first half.

Drew began the second half on a 11-6 roll to grab a 42-28 advantage behind Victoria Ault, who tallied four of her 15 points during that span. But the Mariners rallied with a 9-3 spurt behind Meehan's three points (basket, free throw) and field goals by Roshenda Josephs, Kaileh and Demi VanDerWal (eight points, five rebounds) to pull within 42-37 with 12:12 remaining.

But that's as close as the Mariners got. Jen Mateo (eight points, 10 rebounds) canned a three-point shot with 10:10 and hit both ends of a one-and-one 21 seconds later to restore the Rangers' lead to double digits at 47-37.

Kings Point converted 40.8 percent of its field-goal attempts (20-of-49), while recording 40 percent of its three-point tries (4-of-10).

Drew sank 24-of-55 shots from the field for a 43.6 percent rate, while it struggled from three-point range at 17.6 percent (3-of-17).

Alexandra Winfree added six points for the Merchant Marines.

For the Rangers, Logan Cavanaugh finished with nine points and five rebounds and Brianna Reich added eight points.

Drew out-rebounded the Mariners, 43-26.  Josephs and Rebecca Resor finished with three steals apiece for Kings Point.

The Mariners are back in action as they host CCNY at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night.

Photo: Tamara Kaileh scored 10 of her 14 points in the first half for the Merchant Marines. Photo by Shawn Antonelli