Farmingdale State - 65, Merchant Marine - 49
Farmingdale, N.Y. - The Farmingdale State women's basketball team hosted Skyline opponent Merchant Marine this afternoon in their final regular season game on senior day and earned a 65-49 victory. With the win, the Rams are the #3 seed for the upcoming Skyline Conference playoffs.
Prior to tip-off, FSC seniors Liz Durchhalter (Franklin Square, N.Y.), Essence Casey (Huntington Station, N.Y.), Kaelyn Ward (East Hampton, N.Y.) and Carmela Gampero (Massapequa, N.Y.) were each honored for senior day.
Farmingdale State (14-11, 13-5) scored the first 10 points of the game over the opening 3:22 to jump out to the early lead. After a basket by Merchant Marine (16-8, 12-6), junior guard Alexis Antonacci (Plainview, N.Y.) responded with back-to-back layups to put FSC in front, 14-2, with 3:03 left in the first.
The Rams entered the second quarter with a 20-9 advantage and extended the lead to 28-9 after five points from Casey and a 3 by Durchhalter. The Mariners used a Kiana Vega (El Paso, Texas) 3-pointer on their next possession but the Rams answered with eight unanswered points to open up their largest lead of the game at 36-12. USMMA closed the half on an 8-2 run as FSC went into the break on top, 38-20.
Casey led all scorers with 15 first half points on 7-of-9 shooting, while Antonacci added 10 points for the Rams.
Trailing 43-27 with 4:05 remaining in the third, the Mariners outscored the Rams 8-3 over the remainder of the quarter to cut the deficit to 11, 46-35. Farmingdale State started the fourth with layups from both Ward and Antonacci to quickly bring the advantage back to 15 points.
With 6:27 on the clock and FSC up 51-37, a Ward layup and back-to-back 3's by Durchhalter and Antonacci increased the lead to 22. The Rams led by at least 16 the remainder of the game en route to the 65-49 win.
Antonacci scored a game-high 20 points and had four steals, while Casey finished with 16 points and game-highs in both assists (5) and steals (5). Durchhalter and Ward recorded 11 and seven points, respectively, in the victory.
Merchant Marine was led by sophomore forward Shelby Peters (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) who scored 13 points and had nine rebounds.
The third-seeded Rams will now host #6 St. Joseph's-Brooklyn in the First Round of the Skyline Conference Championship on Tuesday, February 20th at 7:00 p.m.