Setting the Scene... The United States Merchant Marine Academy Mariners will take on the Bears of the United States Coast Guard Academy Monday evening at 7:00 PM in New London, CT. The Mariners are riding a three-game winning streak on the heals of their first ever victory over Landmark Conference opponent Juniata.
Series History... Merchant Marine has defeated USCGA in three of their past four matchups, including a thrilling 64-60 victory last year in Kings Point.
Stealing the Show... Senior captain Shendi Josephs leads the Landmark Conference in steals per game, averaging 4.0 on the season. She's currently ranked 11th on the NCAA leaderboards and sits second on Merchant Marine's all-time career steals list. Josephs needs just five more steals to break the academy all-time single-season steals record.
Doubling Up... Nine of the 11 players on Merchant Marine's roster have reached double figures at least once this season, with senior captain Tamara Kaileh and Josephs leading the way with 16 and 12 double-figure games respectively. Sophomore forward Rebecca Resor leads the team with seven double-doubles on the year. Kaileh is coming off of a career high 24-point game against Juniata.
Finishing Strong... Sophomore guard Demi VanDerWal finished up strong last season, scoring two of her top three career highs in the final games of the 2011-12 campaign which included dropping 28 points en route to a victory against Coast Guard. VanDerWal seems to have a knack for tearing it up against service academy rivals as she scored 14 against Army earlier this season; setting an academy record for most points against a D-I opponent.
Up Next... The Mariners complete their season with a pair of conference road games against Drew and Susquehanna February 13 at 7:00 PM and Saturday February 16 at 2:00 PM.