NORTH ANDOVER, MA – Behind a career-high 24 point effort from sophomore point guard Chloe Rothman (Newton, Mass.) and a season-best 57.4 percent from the floor, the Merrimack women's basketball team picked up their 10th win of the season on Tuesday night at Hammel Court by the score of 82-75.
Merrimack (10-4, 6-4 NE-10) will hit the road on Saturday for a conference game with Southern Connecticut State at 1:30 p.m.
The Warriors were led offensively by Rothman who scored a career-high 24 points to go along with eight assists. Rothman converted on a career-high 10 of 12 free throws in the victory and also secured two rebounds. Senior captain Kelly Schatzlein (Tolland, CT) continued her strong play for the Warriors as she finished the game with 18 points and nine rebounds on 8-9 from the floor. The Warriors also got great play from their bench as Ashley Weissmann (Highland, Calif.) scored 15 points on 5-7 from behind the arc to go along with two rebounds. Jaclyn Lyons (Reading, Mass.) was the fourth Warrior to break into double digits as she finished with 10 points and five boards.
The turning point of the game was the final three minutes as the Warriors led the Dolphins by only one point. Weissmann hit a deep three pointer to stretch the lead to six and Rothman converted on 7-of-8 free throws to give the Warriors the seven point victory.
The Warriors opened up the game quick as Schatzlein won the tip back to Rothman who fed a pass back to her in the paint for the easy layup. The Dolphins settled down over the next six minutes as they went on a 10-2 run that was capped off by a Lauren Price jumper.
With Merrimack down six with just over 12 minutes to play in the first half, Rothman drilled back-to-back three pointers and Lyons converted on two free throws to draw the Warriors even at 16.
The two teams went back and forth until Weissmann came off the bench and nailed a three pointer to give Merrimack the 27-24 lead with 5:27 to play in the first. Emily Greer responded with two straight deep balls to give the Dolphins the late three point lead before Rothman finished the half with two free throws to draw the Warriors within one at 34-33 at halftime.
Merrimack was able to shoot 55.0 percent in the first half but they committed 12 turnovers which the Dolphins turned into 18 points in the first half. The Warriors also only converted on four of 10 free throw opportunities in the first 20 minutes.
Schatzlein opened up the second half with six straight points and Weissmann buried another three pointer, giving the Warriors the 42-41 lead with 17:45 remaining in the contest.
After two Alex Marple free throws gave the Dolphins the three point lead, Merrimack went on a 17-7 run over the next five minutes to take the lead back at 59-52 after Lyons converted on a contested layup in the lane.
The visitors did not go away as at the 3:07 mark Greer took the ball to the hole and cashed in on a layup, knocking the Warriors lead to just one.
Merrimack however finished the Dolphins off behind great free throw shooting from Rothman, extending the lead to a game-high 10 points with 28 seconds to play before settling for the 82-75 victory, improving to 7-1 at Bert Hammel Court on the season.
For the game, Merrimack shot a season-best 57.4 percent while they held the Ravens to 40.3 percent from the floor including just 5-23 from deep. Both teams finished with 34 points in the paint while the Warriors bench outscored the Dolphins bench 22-17, improving their record to 8-2 when their bench outscores the opponents bench.
Cassi Amenta (Lynn, Mass.) finished off her night with four points, four rebounds and three assists off the bench while Shelby Secor (Antioch, Calif.) scored six points in only 13 minutes of action.
The Dolphins had four players score in double figures as Torie Lee led the way with 22 points and four rebounds. Tessa Pucello played well in only 19 minutes as she scored 16 points and grabbed seven boards. Emily Greer finished off her night with 14 points and seven rebounds in the loss.