Kings Point, NY – Demi VanDerWal (Springfield, IL) recorded 21 points but the USMMA women's basketball team was unable to pull the upset Saturday afternoon, falling to Catholic, 63-53. Julie Mall (Littlestown, PA) and Rebecca Resor (Bay St. Louis, MS) both notched a game high 11 rebounds. Emily Grabiak also posted 21 points for Catholic as the Cardinals improved their current winning streak to seven games.
Merchant Marine (2-8, 0-4 Landmark) got an early boost as VanDerWal knocked down a three-pointer to make it 3-1. The Cardinals entered the day having won seven straight against USMMA but was unable to shake the Mariners early. Merchant Marine trailed by just two, 15-13, with 12:41 left in the half following a Rachel Wehlburg (Herndon, VA) conventional three-point play. The visitors would close the period on a 5-1 spurt to take a 35-26 lead into halftime.
Catholic (9-3, 2-0 Landmark) opened its cushion to 18 points, 45-27, five minutes into the second half on a Melissa Errico lay-in. However, the Mariners continued to fight and an 11-5 run brought USMMA back within 10 points. Wehlburg capped the run with a jumper at the 8:58 mark for two of her 11 points. The Cardinals would maintain their lead in part because of 22 steals and forcing Merchant Marine into 30 total turnovers.
USMMA would get no closer than nine points down the stretch and finished the game with a 57-35 rebounding advantage. VanDerWal ended the night the same way she started it, with a three-pointer, but it was not enough as Catholic sealed the 63-53 verdict.
The Merchant Marine women's basketball team returns to action Wednesday night inside O'Hara Hall for a Landmark Conference tilt against Scranton.