NORTH ANDOVER, MA – The Merrimack women's basketball team surpassed their 2011 win total with a 61-58 victory at Bert Hammel Court on Saturday afternoon over the Southern New Hampshire Penmen. The Warriors were led by freshman Ashley Weissmann (Highland, Calif.) who finished with a career-high 16 points off the bench in the victory.
Merrimack (6-2, 4-2 NE-10) will play in two non conference matches over the next 11 days before their Christmas break. Merrimack will host Molloy on December 15 at 2 p.m. and St. Thomas Aquinas on December 19 at 5 p.m.
Offensively Merrimack receieved a career-high 16 point effort from Weissmann on 5-9 from the floor including 4-5 from three point range and 2-3 from the free throw line. Senior Kelly Schatzlein (Tolland, CT) picked up her third double-double in the last four games as she finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds including seven offensive boards. Chloe Rothman (Newton, Mass.) played well in 33 minutes finishing with 15 points, seven assists and three rebounds in the win.
After a Penmen layup with nine seconds remaining in the game, Weissmann went to the line with Merrimack leading by one. Weissmann drained both pressure free throws to increase the lead to three. The Penmen had a shot to tie the game but Michelle DeRoma's three pointer at the buzzer fell short to secure the three point win for Merrimack, their second three point victory of the young season.
The first seven minutes of the game were a back and forth affair as the Warriors took the lead back from the Penmen with 13:38 remaining, 6-5, as Madison Ward (Binghamton, NY) made a layup off of a great pass from Tia Scott (New York, NY).
The Warriors extended their lead to five on two occasions in the last three minutes of the half, both times Miller made layups from inside the paint. After a Weissmann deep three pointer with just over a minute left in the half, Merrimack went to the locker room sticking to a two point lead, 29-27.
The Penmen started the second half on a 6-2 run to take the two point lead but Schatzlein converted on a three point play to give the Warriors the lead back with 15:54 to play in the game.
Just over five minutes later Weissmann extended the Warriors lead to six after a deep three pointer from straight away. The penmen fought back and took their second lead of the half with just over five minutes remaining on two free throws by Sloane Sorrell.
With three minutes to play Meghan Ballard gave the Penmen their last lead before the Warriors took over down the stretch to secure the win. Rothman drove to the basket with 49 seconds left and made a contested layup to give Merrimack the five point lead and after two Weissmann free throws the Warriors downed Southern New Hampshire 61-58.
The key for the Warriors defensively was causing turnovers from the Penmen as they forced 21 turnovers, second straight game forcing 20 plus turnovers. The Warriors turned the Penmen mishaps into 22 points on the afternoon.
For the game, Merrimack was held to 34.4 percent from the floor but they shot 42.1 percent from behind the arc. The Penmen shot 45.3 percent from the floor but were unsuccessful on their five three point attempts.
The Merrimack bench gave them great play all day long as they scored 27 of the Warriors 61 points. Melissa Miller (North Andover, Mass.) finished with four points on 2-4 from the floor and Allison Wagner (Center Conway, NH) drained a three pointer in the second half to propel the Warriors.
The Penmen were led by leading scorer Sloane Sorrell who finished with a game-high 20 points, 12 rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Michelle DeRoma finished 6-10 from the floor and scored 12 points while Victoria Wiseman came off the bench and scored 12 points, grabbed three rebounds and dished out two assists.