The Merrimack women's basketball team will stay on the road on Saturday as they will play the Dominican Chargers in the first round of the Daniel Sullivan Memorial Tournament. Saturday will be the Warriors second game of the season as they defeated the Franklin Pierce Ravens on Tuesday night on the road by the score of 63-60. Dominican enters the game after losing their last contest to the American International Yellow Jackets by the score of 59-44.
The Warriors are led by senior captain Katie Ganser who finished the season opening victory over Franklin Pierce with a career-high 17 point effort on 6-10 from the floor including 4-4 from three point range. Leading scorer and rebounder from last season, Kelly Schatzlein, was held to only four points but she did grab a game-high 11 rebounds in the victory. Junior Shelby Secor played well in her first game as a Warrior as she finished with 11 points and four rebounds in 23 minutes of action. Senior Jaclyn Lyons was the third Warrior to score in double figures as she poured in 10 points and three rebounds.
ABOUT THE COMPETITION:
The Chargers enter the contest with a 1-1 record overall after downing New Haven in their season opener and falling to AIC in the second game of the season. The Chargers have a very spread out offensive attack as three players average 9.0 points or more for the season. Lashonda Hathorne leads the Chargers averaging 9.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per contest while Bianca Harris is the leading rebounder averaging 9.5 rebounds and 9.0 points per game. KC Jentzen leads Dominican in field goal percentage making 55 percent of her shots while averaging 8.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
This is the first matchup between the two teams in history. The Warriors went 1-3 in non conference games a year ago with their only win coming against Bridgeport.
LAST GAME (Merrimack 63 - FRANKLIN PIERCE 60):
The Merrimack women's basketball team traveled to Dowling on Friday December 16 for a non conference matchup with the Golden Lions. Merrimack was downed by the Golden Lions 74-52. Jaclyn Lyons led the way for the Warriors as she racked up 12 points on 4-7 from the field and 4-4 from the line in the loss. Kelly Schatzlein continued her steady play as she racked up eight points and a team-high seven rebounds. Gennifer Roy moved into ninth place on the all-time Merrimack scoring charts in the loss.
663 AND COUNTING:
Senior forward Kelly Schatzlein has turned into one of the best rebounders in the Northeast-10 conference over her four years at Merrimack and this continued on opening night. Schatzlein hauled in a game-high 11 rebounds in the winning effort and now ranks seventh in school history in rebounds with 663. She is only eight rebounds shy of entering the top five for career rebounds. If Schatzlein can rack up 337 more rebounds this season she will be only the second Warrior ever to rack up 1,000 career rebounds.
SIX WARRIORS PLAY 20 PLUS MINUTES:
The Warriors are one of the youngest teams in the Northeast-10 Conference this season as they have nine underclassmen and just three seniors on their squad. The youthful Warriors proved to the rest of the league that they are also a very deep team as six Warriors played 20 plus minutes in their season opening victory. Senior Jaclyn Lyons led the way as she played 34 minutes while no other Warrior broke the 30 minute plateau. The two other seniors, Kelly Schatzlein and Katie Ganser, played 27 and 26 minutes repectively. The freshman duo of Tia Scott and Ashley Weissmann played 26 and 19 minutes respectively while junior transfer Shelby Secor finished her first game as a Warrior logging 23 minutes.
MERRIMACK DOMINATES POINTS IN THE PAINT AT FPU:
One of the biggest problems for the Warriors last season was allowing their opponents to outscore them in the paint, this was not the case against Franklin Pierce. The Warriors dominated points in the paint as they outscored the Ravens 37-22 for the game including 18-8 in the second half, leading to their come-from-behind victory. Shelby Secor led the way for the Warriors in the paint scoring 10 of the 37 points. Cassi Amenta also chipped in with six points in the paint on 3-4 from the floor in 12 minutes of action.
FAST BREAK POINTS LEAD WARRIORS OVER RAVENS:
The Warriors used their strong defense to lead to easy buckets on Tuesday night as they led the fast break points category by the score of 21-8, including a dominating 14-2 in the second half of action. The Warriors used five second half steals and turned those into 10 fast break points in the victory. All six of freshman Ashley Weissmann's points came on the fast break as she took steals and finished at the other end.
SPREAD OUT SCORING ATTACK PROPELS YOUNG WARRIORS:
Head coach Monique LeBlanc received spread out scoring from her team on Tuesday as eight of the nine players who played scored at least two points. Senior Katie Ganser led the way for the Warriors with a career-high 17 points including 14 in the first half. Junior transfer Shelby Secor had a solid debut for the Warriors as she finished with 11 points on 5-9 from the floor and 1-3 from the free throw line while senior Jaclyn Lyons racked up 10 points including two three pointers to open up the second half. Freshman Tia Scott had a nice game off the bench for Merrimack as she finished with seven points, five assists and three steals in her first collegiate action. Ashley Weissmann and Cassi Amenta each played well off the bench as they racked up six points each in the victory.