The Merrimack women's basketball team returns home for their second of five straight home games at Bert Hammel Court on Saturday. The Warriors are coming off of a 63-45 victory over the Saint Michael's Purple Knights on Tuesday night to improve to 5-2 overall and 3-2 in NE-10 action. The Southern New Hampshire Penmen enter the contest after dropping their last game to Stonehill by the score of 67-59. The Penmen enter the game with a overall record of 3-3 and a conference mark of 2-3 as they defeated Saint Michael's and Saint Anselm in their first two games of the season.
The Warriors offensive attack has been very spread out this season as they have had five players lead the team in scoring through seven games. Senior Kelly Schatzlein leads the NE-10 in rebounding, averaging 10.7 rebounds to go along with 10.3 points per game. Sophomore point guard Chloe Rothman leads the Warriors offense as she is averaging 9.9 points, 5.7 assists and 3.6 rebounds per contest. Senior Jaclyn Lyons is playing well for the Warriors as she is averaging 9.6 points per game and shooting 42 percent from the floor. Junior transfer Shelby Secor has impressed early on as she is averaging 7.3 points and 4.7 rebounds while starting all seven games while fellow newcomer Ashley Weissmann is coming off the bench and averaging 7.7 points and 3.6 rebounds so far.
ABOUT THE COMPETITION:
The Penmen enter the contest dropping their last three conference contests. They are being led offensively by Sloane Sorrell who is averaging 13.7 points, 9.2 rebounds and shooting a team-best 52 percent from the floor. Michelle DeRoma is the Penmen's second leading scorer as she is averaging 9.8 points to go along with 3.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest. Victoria Wiseman is having a nice year offensively as she is averaging 8.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and is shooting 49 percent from the floor so far this season through six games. As a team, the Penmen are holding opponents to 57.2 points a game.
The Warriors are 26-20 against the Penmen all-time including losing both games last season. Over the past two season's the Warriors are 1-3 against the Penmen.
LAST GAME (MERRIMACK 63 - ST. MIKE'S 45):
The Merrimack women's basketball team got back on the winning track on Tuesday as they defeated the Saint Michael's Purple Knights by the score of 63-45 in front of the home fans. The Warriors used a 16-0 run in the first half to put away the Purple Knights and pick up their fifth win of the season, matching last year's win total. Melissa Miller led the way offensively as she finished with a career-high 13 points, seven rebounds and three steals on 6-8 from the floor in only 15 minutes of action. Kelly Schatzlein just missed her third straight double-double as she finished with nine points and 13 rebounds.
SCHATZLEIN CONTINUES STRONG PLAY:
Senior Kelly Schatzlein was awarded her 1,000th point ball on Tuesday before the game and went on to lead the Warriors to a victory. Schatzlein finished the game with nine points and a game-high 13 rebounds, just one point shy of her third straight double-double. She now leads the NE-10 in rebounding averaging 10.3 per contest. If Schatzlein can rack up 273 more rebounds this season she will be only the second Warrior ever to rack up 1,000 career rebounds and 1,000 career points.
MILLER LEADS THE WAY OFF THE BENCH WITH 13 POINTS:
The Merrimack bench displayed some great play in Tuesday's win over the Purple Knights. The Warriors bench outscored Saint Michael's by the score of 28-9. Melissa Miller led the way off the bench as she scored a career-high 13 points and grabbed a career-high seven rebounds as she finished 6-8 from the floor. Miller also played well defensively as she recorded a team-high three steals in just 15 minutes of action. Freshman Ashley Weissmann also played well off the bench as she chipped in with eight points and a career-high seven rebounds.
WARRIORS DOMINATE TURNOVER BATTLE IN VICTORY:
One of the keys to success this season for the Warriors has been turning the ball over less than their opponents and on Tuesday this continued. The Warriors hold a 4-0 record this season when they turn the ball over less than their opponents. Saint Michael's had 25 turnovers on Tuesday which led to 22 Merrimack points. The Warriors also limited the Purple Knights to scoring only four points off of their turnovers for the game.
NINE WARRIORS SCORE IN DOUBLE DIGIT VICTORY ON TUESDAY:
So far this season the Warriors have proven that they can receive scoring from pretty much everyone on their roster. On Tuesday night, nine different Warriors recorded at least three points in the victory. Melissa Miller led the way with 13 while Kelly Schatzlein had nine. Jacly Lyons and Ashley Weissmann each recorded eight points while Shelby Secor and Katie Ganser recorded seven and six points respectively. Freshman Madison Ward played the final two minutes of the game and scored four points to add to the Merrimack lead.
MERRIMACK HOLDS HUGE MARGIN OF VICTORY IN FIVE WINS:
Merrimack has matched their win total from last season through only seven games this year and they are producing wins in easy manner. The Warriors average margin of victory in their five wins this season is 16.4 points. The Warriors have recorded wins of 30 points, 20 points, 18 points and 11 points so far this season. The young Warriors are learning how to close out games which was a problem they could not overcome last year with the game in the balance near the end of the game.