Demi VanDerWal (Springfield, IL) dropped 19 points and the Mariners cut into a double-digit deficit but it was not enough as the USMMA women's basketball team fell to Drew, 54-40, Wednesday night. Courtney Stephens posted 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Rangers while Breana Wilson dished out eight assists for the visitors. USMMA also got a strong outing from senior Kristina Walz (Manona, IA), who totaled 10 points and nine rebounds.
Drew (13-11, 6-7 Landmark) jumped out to an 11-1 lead over the opening 8:28 of action as the run was capped by a Hannah Miller jumper. Miller also reached double figures for the Rangers as she chipped in 10 points on the night. Drew led by as many as 14 in the first half as Stephens knocked down a free throw at the 2:45 mark.
Merchant Marine (4-19, 0-13 Landmark) ended the opening period on a 6-2 spurt and trailed 26-16 at the intermission. USMMA noticeably picked up the intensity in the second half and a VanDerWal triple made it 29-21 in the early stages of the frame. Julie Mall (Littlestown, PA) got hot for the Mariners and buried back-to-back jumpers to trim the Rangers advantage to 32-27 with 14:55 to play.
Drew answered the run with five straight points to push its cushion back to double figures. Merchant Marine would get within seven points on two separate occasions via long jumpers. The first came from Katie Franchois (Perkasia, PA) and the second was a VanDerWal basket. Rebecca Resor (Bay St. Louis, MS) made it a five-point affair one final time, 44-39, on the strength of a 15-footer at the 2:52 mark. However, that would be as close as USMMA would get as Drew closed the game on a 10-1 run to pick up the victory, 54-40.
The USMMA women's basketball team will close out the 2013-14 season at home against Susquehanna. Tip-off is slated for 4:00 PM on Saturday with Senior Day festivities to be held before the action begins.