By D.J. Bevivino
NEWBURGH – The Mount Saint Mary College Knights (7-5, 6-1 Skyline) rallied for a hard-fought 68-57 victory over the United States Merchant Marine Academy Mariners (6-5, 3-4 Skyline) on Saturday afternoon at the Kaplan Recreation Center. The win, fueled by a dominant third quarter and a stellar performance from the bench, keeps the Knights atop the Skyline Conference standings.
“Excellent comeback win,” exclaimed Head Coach Marion Dietz. “Our bench was huge today and played a vital role in the win. We used our defensive strengths in the third quarter to propel our offense to make the run.”
Both teams traded baskets early, with the score tied 10-10 after the first quarter. The Mariners pulled ahead slightly in the second, but the Knights stayed close thanks to Ciarra Quinn’s 12 points, including three three-pointers. Charlotte Twohig added 8 points in the first half, but the Knights trailed by two at the break, 22-20.
The third quarter was a turning point. The Knights clamped down defensively, holding the Mariners to just 8 points while erupting for 29 of their own. Sara Cashin was a spark off the bench, scoring 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including a pair of crucial three-pointers.
Lauren Petrie also contributed 5 points and 3 rebounds in the pivotal frame.
The strong defense carried over into the fourth quarter, and the Knights extended their lead to as many as 12 points. The Mariners made a late push, but the Knights never relinquished control, securing the victory.
Quinn finished with a game-high 18 points, knocking down five three-pointers. Twohig followed with 15 points, while Cashin’s 17 points off the bench proved invaluable. Lauren Petrie chipped in 5 points and 6 rebounds, and Brian Guglielmo added 4 points and 4 rebounds.
“Our team showed a lot of heart and determination today,” Quinn said. “We never gave up, even when we were down. We came together as a team and found a way to win.”
The Knights next take the court on Wednesday, January 10th, when they host the Farmingdale State College Rams at 7 PM at the Kaplan Recreation Center. They’ll aim to continue their climb in the Skyline Conference standings and build on the momentum of this hard-fought victory.