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December 7, 2011

Mariner women win 1st of the season over CCNY, 56-40

KINGS POINT, N.Y. – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy women broke open a close game by going on a 20-5 tear in the first half as they went onto record their first win of the season, a 56-40 non-league victory over the City College of New York on Wednesday night.

Demi VanDerWal led the Mariners (1-3) with 14 points and Tamara Kaileh contributed 11 points.

After Kendra Rivers (team-high 14 points) gave the Beavers (0-8) an 8-6 lead with 14:35 remaining in the first half, the Mariners broke open the game behind their 20-5 spurt to grab a 26-13 advantage with 2:18 left.

VanDerWal, who scored six points during the run, started it off by hitting two driving layups with foul shots within a 32-second span to give the Merchant Marines the lead for good at 12-8 with 13:14 left. Kaileh chipped in with six points of her own during the decisive run.

 A pair of timeouts called by coach Matt Dempsey early in each half seemed to calm down the Mariners. Trailing 4-2, he called for a break with 18:07 and the hosts started to gain some traction.

After his team was outscored 5-2 to cut their 30-19 halftime lead to eight points with 16:40 remaining in the game, Dempsey called another timeout. This time Kings Point sank the next two baskets – a lay-up off a steal by VanDerWal and a driving layup by Roshenda Josephs with 14:47 remaining.

VanDerWal sank a pair of foul shots with 2:32 remaining to give the Mariners their largest lead of the game at 56-37.

Rebecca Resor contributed nine points and nine rebounds for the Mariners.

For the Beavers, Donika Rexhepi added nine points and nine rebounds, while Rivers had eight rebounds.

In a rarity, neither team converted a three-point attempt. The Mariners went 0-4 from that range while CCNY was 0-6.

Merchant Marine hit 39.3 percent of their two-point field-goal attempts (22-56), while CCNY was at 26.2 percent (16-61).

The hosts, however, were almost perfect from the free-throw line, converting 12-of-13 attempts, while CCNY was 8-of-15.

The hosts, however, were almost perfect from the free-throw line, converting 12-of-13 attempts, while CCNY was 8-of-15.

The Mariners host Rutgers-Camden in the first game of a doubleheader at Liebertz at 1 p.m. Saturday before the men take on Wesleyan at 3 p.m.

Photo: Demi VanDerWal helped spark the Mariners to their first-half run that turned the game around in their win. Photo by Shawn Antonelli.