Kings Point, NY – The United States Merchant Marine Academy Mariners (7-10, 1-8) were downed by the nationally ranked Cardinals of Catholic University of America (18-1, 7-1) by a score of 72-49 Saturday afternoon in Kings Point, NY.
Junior guard Katie Franchois (Perkasie, PA) tallied a season-high seven points, shot a perfect 4-4 from the charity stripe, knocked down her first three-pointer of the year and recorded 11 minutes of turnover-free ball in the losing effort.
The Mariners were led in scoring by junior forward Kristina Walz (Monona Iowa), who sunk nine points, and were led in rebounding by sophomore forward Rebecca Resor (Bay St. Louis, MS) who nabbed a game-high eight boards for Kings Point.
Freshman guard Nicole Evanko (New Britain, CT) scored her first career points as a Mariner, shooting 2-3 from the field, netting four points and grabbing two rebounds on the night.
The game opened with a fast pace, as teams traded buckets in the early minutes. After CUA grabbed a four point lead, a three-pointer by freshman guard Marlee Chovich (Oregon City, OR) cut the Cardinal lead to one. Catholic responded with a trifecta of their own on the ensuing possession; not to be out done, sophomore guard Demi VanDerWal (Springfield, IL) answered with a quick three to bring the deficit back to one at the 14:33 mark.
Although the Mariners did not hold a lead in the contest, Merchant Marine fought hard to remain within striking distance of the nationally ranked Cardinals. A Walz layup with 12:58 remaining in the first half brought the score to 15-13, but a jumper by Cardinals senior forward Katarina Owunna (Pittsburgh, PA) sparked an 18-2 Catholic run; as they would eventually head into the break with a 41-23 lead.
Senior captain Tamara Kaileh (Kings Park, NY) started the second half with a jumper, but Catholic would regain control and open up a 26 point lead, their largest of the game, near the closing minutes of the contest.
The Cardinals were led in scoring by Owunna who had a game-high 14 points and junior forward Emily Grabniak (Haddonfield, NJ) who notched 11. Senior forward Kelli Josephsen (West Caldwell, NJ) nabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
USMMA will face the Scranton University Royals (13-6, 5-3) Wednesday Jan. 30 at 7:00 PM in Kings Point.