Even with the Old Westbury Panthers in deep foul trouble, with only one eligible player left, the Mariners could not pull it out in double-overtime, losing their first conference game of the season, 78-76.
With the game coming down to foul shots in the last seconds of double-overtime, freshman Stephanie Waller's offensive rebound and jumper, coming off an intentional missed foul shot by freshman Kristen Hetsko, bounced around the rim, giving the Panthers the win.
In the first overtime period, the Mariners (6-4/1-1) led by as many as three, but owned a two-point lead with just 19 seconds on the clock, as Waller sank one-of-two free throws. After Old Westbury's (8-5/2-2) Jessica Lippolis pulled down the rebound, Janera Johnson forced the second overtime session by grabbing her own offensive rebound and sinking a lay-up as time expired.
In the second half, Kings Point used an 11-0 run to take a one-point lead on a made three-pointer with 7:13 to play. The two teams battled back and forth over the next seven minutes, forcing five ties and four lead changes.
In the final 35 seconds of regulation, Johnson tied the game at 61 going one-for-two on the free throw line, creating the eighth tie of the game, and sending the Mariners and Panthers to their first overtime.
In the first half, Old Westbury used an 11-0 run, sparked by Monique Midy's jumper, to build themselves an eight-point halftime lead.
Sophomore Morgan Gartner led the Mariners' scoring with a career high 22 points with an additional eight rebounds. Sophomore May Marie Hayes followed with 18 points and eight rebounds.
Panthers Danna Purnell and Johnson each scored double-doubles, scoring career highs of 25 points, 19 assists and 17 points, 13 rebounds respectively.
Averaging 12.5 points, 3.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game last week, freshman guard Stephanie Waller earned Skyline Rookie of the Week honors for her performance in the Mariners' games against Rutgers-Newark and New York City Tech.
Waller, from Brookefield, WI, scored a season-high of 18 points and shot 60 percent from the 3-point range and 80 percent from the free-throw line helping seal the Mariner win against New York City Tech on Jan. 4.
She also contributed seven points, four assists and three rebounds in the Mariner loss at Rutgers-Newark on Jan. 7.
Waller ranks third in the conference in 3-point percentage with 0.407. With an average of 3.3 assists per game, she is tied at seventh in assists with fellow freshman guard and four-time Skyline Conference Rookie of the Week, Kristen Hetsko.
Hetsko leads the conference in 3-pointers made with an average of 3.0 per game. She ranks fifth three-point percentage with 0.375. Hetsko is also fifth in the conference in scoring with 14.2 points per game and eighth in the conference in steals (2.4 steals per game).
Other Mariners ranking in the Skyline statistical leader charts are Morgan Gartner, Andrea Carey, Hannah Eko and Ashley Carlisle.
Gartner is second in the conference on the free-point line, with Carey ranking right behind her with percentages of 0.857 and 0.815 respectively. Gartner also ranks eighth in the conference in blocked shots (0.9 per game), following Eko who ranks second with 2.7 blocks per game.
Eko's 0.465 field goal percentage ranks fifth in the conference with Carlisle's 0.434 ranking eighth behind her.
Carlisle also leads the conference in three-point percentage with a 0.462 with Waller and Hetsko ranking behind her. She ranks second behind Hetsko in three-pointers made with an average of 2.40 per game.
As a team the Mariners lead the conference in scoring offense (73.3 points/game), scoring margin (+17.7), field goal percentage (0.409), three-point field goal percentage (0.389) and assists (16.8/game). They rank third in rebounding margin and steals with +4.8 and 12.10/game respectively.
Entering the Jan. 12 game with Farmingdale State, which has had its way with the United States Merchant Marine Academy, the Mariners had two options, sulk after falling to Old Westbury in double overtime or learn from the loss and put forth a solid effort against one of the Skyline's finest. May Marie Hayes and the Mariners choose the later, leaving the Lynch Sports Center with a 69-67 come-from-behind victory.
With leading scorer and Rookie of the Year candidate in point guard Kristen Hetsko having a tough day from the field, her teammates picked her up as four Mariners finished the night in double-figures.
Kings Point showed that it came to play as the Mariners took a seven point lead (15-8) on a Hannah Eko lay up with 12:03 left in the first. But that lead would quickly dissipate as the Lady Rams stormed back with a 16-4 run to take a five point lead at the 7:07 mark. Four minutes later, Farmingdale upped its advantage to double figures with Kendra Romain squeezing a jumper in between four Mercedes Miller free throws.
The Rams led by as many as 15 points in the first has courtesy a Rochelle Clark three ball with 60 seconds on the clock, but USMMA responded with a 4-0 run at the break to make it a feasible 11-point deficit (40-29) at the break.
In the second, it would take Kings Point nearly seven minutes to make it a single-digit deficit. Freshman Stephanie Waller drilled a trey to pull USMMA within nine. She would do so again minutes later following four unanswered by the Rams.
FSU hung onto that nine-point edge by the hook of their horns, but could not fend off the Blue & Gray, who put together a fierce comeback in the final five minutes. Hetsko, who shot just 1-of-9 from the field on the night, still had a major impact bursting the nine-point Ram cushion with a three ball. Andrea Carey would later slice the FSU lead to three with a trifector of her own with 3:37 left.
Following two free throws by Hetsko to make it a one-point affair with 90 ticks on the clock, FSU assumed to have regained the momentum with a five point lead heading into the game's final minute. That's when Hayes and Ashley Carlisle came through in the clutch.
Hayes completed a three point play to make it a one-possession game. Carlisle followed suit the next trip down the floor with two freebies to knot the game at 67. On the final offensive possession of the night for the Rams, Hayes pulled down the pivotal defensive rebound and canned both her free throws on the other end with two seconds left to give the Mariners the win.
With the win, the Mariners (7-5) avoided falling to the .500 mark and now stand alone at second place in the conference at 2-1 in league play.
Sophomore Morgan Gartner had another big night coming off her career high at Old Westbury with a team-best 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field, in addition to eight rebounds. Carey also notched 14 points on the night, while Hayes and Eko added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Miller paced the Rams with 15 points in the loss. Kristen Tong provided 13 for FSU.