BRONX, N.Y. (Feb. 6, 2019) – The USMMA women's basketball team defeated Skyline Conference opponent Mount St. Vincent, 68-51, on Wednesday night up at the Dolphins' Peter Jay Sharp Center. With the victory, the Mariners broke the program's single-season wins record, as they notched their 18th win of the season, improving to 18-2 (14-1 Skyline), while CMSV drops to 6-14 (5-10 Skyline).
Merchant Marine also clinched a first-round bye in the upcoming Skyline Conference Tournament later this month, as the Mariners cannot finish lower than #2 in the league standings.
Junior Shelby Peters (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) notched her first double-double of the season as she tied her career-high with 17 points and 18 rebounds, leading all players on the night in both categories. Two other Mariners also scored in double-figures, as freshman Lauren Hunter (Tinley Park, Ill.) scored 15 and classmate Julia Dahlke (San Diego, Calif.) added 12.
Three other players rounded out the scoring for USMMA with eight points apiece – juniors Kaleigh D'Arcy (White Plains, N.Y.) and Taylor Hightower (White Plains, Md.) and sophomore Kiana Vega (El Paso, Texas). Hightower also registered a career-high eight blocked shots, while D'Arcy brought down nine rebounds and dished out eight assists to go along with four steals.
The game was back-and-forth for the first 25 minutes, as there were a total of nine lead changes in the first half alone before the two teams went into the locker rooms tied 31-31 at halftime. The Dolphins took the first lead of the third quarter, but the Mariners responded with a three-pointer to go up again. After CMSV hit two free throws at 6:50, USMMA answered with a layup by Peters at 6:39 in what wound up being the last lead change of the night, 36-35.
The advantage quickly reached double-digits at 2:51 after an 11-2 run made it 47-37. The teams traded baskets from there and it was a 51-41 lead for Merchant Marine at the end of the third. The Mariner lead only fell under 10 points once in the fourth quarter, and ballooned up to as many as 20 points, twice late in the final stanza, as USMMA held on for the victory.
For the Dolphins, junior Leah Pinili had a team-best 14 points, while sophomore Aria Rheams drained 12 and junior Dez Brown scored 10. Brown and senior Yamilersy Reyes both secured a team-high eight rebounds each on the night.
The Mariners return to action this Sunday, Feb. 10, when they welcome in Yeshiva University for their home-finale. The game, which will be Merchant Marine's annual Think Pink game, will begin at 12-noon at the Liebertz Gymnasium. Live stats and a live video feed of the game will be available with links on the USMMA Women's Basketball Schedule Page.
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