Saturday's game is part of 'Take a Kid to the Game' Weekend at Merrimack College and all youth accompanied by a paying adult ($5) will receive free admission to both basketball games.
The Merrimack women's basketball team returns home to Bert Hammel Court to take on the AIC Yellow Jackets on Saturday afternoon. Merrimack will be looking to improve on their 7-1 home record. The Warriors are coming off of a heartbreaking one point loss on the road at Saint Rose on Wednesday night by the score of 66-65. The Yellow Jackets enter the game with a 9-7 record including upsetting second place Stonehill in their last outing by the score of 59-55 at home. The Yellow Jackets have won three of their last four conference games.
The Warriors offensive attack has been very spread out this season as they have had six players lead the team in scoring. The Warriors are led by their senior captain Kelly Schatzlein who leads the NE-10 in rebounding averaging 11.0 rebounds per contest after hauling in 13 rebounds in their last outing. Schatzlein also is averaging 11.8 points per contest for the Warriors while sophomore point guard Chloe Rothman has continued to grow this season, averaging 13.6 points to go along with 4.9 assists and 3.4 rebounds a game. Seniors Jaclyn Lyons and Katie Ganser have enjoyed nice starts to the season as they are averaging 10.5 and 4.9 points per game so far. The bench has been a strength of the Warriors all year, Ashley Weissmann leads the bunch off the bench, scoring 8.8 points per game and Tia Scott is averaging 5.0 points and 2.1 assists. Shelby Secor has been solid all year in her starting role averaging 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
ABOUT THE COMPETITION:
The Yellow Jackets enter with a 9-7 overall mark including a 6-6 conference record after defeating Stonehill in their last outing. Offensively Alyssa Roach leads the way averaging 11.8 points, 4.6 assists and 3.4 rebounds. Krista Ferrentino is averaging 11.6 points and 7.7 rebounds while Sydney Tepley is one of three players in the NE-10 to average a double-double, 10.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per contest.
The Warriors are 13-37 against American International all-time including losing 77-69 to the Yellow Jackets last season.
LAST GAME (MERRIMACK 65 - SAINT ROSE 66):
The Merrimack women's basketball team was downed on Wednesday night on the road at Saint Rose by the score of 66-65. The Warriors trailed by three with seven seconds remaining in the contest but they setteled for a layup and the Golden Knights wasted out the rest of the clock for the win. Jaclyn Lyons led the way offensively for the Warriors as she finished with 17 points on 7-11 from the floor and 3-4 from behind the arc. Ashley Weissmann, making her third start of the season, finished with 15 points, four rebounds and two steals while draining three long distance shots. The third Warrior to score in double digits was Tia Scott who finished with a career-high 13 points off the bench in the loss.
SCHATZLEIN LEADS NE-10 IN REBOUNDING:
Senior Kelly Schatzlein continued her strong play on Wednesday night as she scored eight points and hauled in a team-high 13 rebounds in the Warriors loss. Schatzlein finished the game grabbing four offensive rebounds that turned into eight points for the Warriors. Schatzlein now leads the NE-10 in rebounding, averaging 11.0 boards and 11.8 points per contest and is one of two players in the conference to average a double-double. If she can rack up 172 more rebounds this season she will be only the second Warrior ever to rack up 1,000 career rebounds and 1,000 career points.
LYONS LEADS THREE PLAYERS IN DOUBLE FIGURES:
Senior Jaclyn Lyons has been the Warriors most consistent scorer all season long and on Wednesday night this was the case once again. Lyons finished the game with a team-high 17 points on 7-11 from the floor and 3-4 from three point range in the loss. Lyons now is averaging 10.5 points per contest on the season. Ashley Weissmann and Tia Scott also broke into double figures as they ended up with 15 and 13 points respectively in the loss at Saint Rose.
SAINT ROSE BENCH LEADS WAY IN ONE POINT VICTORY:
The Merrimack bench has been a strength all season long but due to an injury the Warriors bench was shortened on Wednesday night. The Golden Knights outscored the Warriors bench 27-16, making the Merrimack record 3-2 when their opponents outscore them. 13 of the Warriors 16 points came from Tia Scott while freshman Ashley Weissmann, who usually comes off the bench, scored 15 points in her starting role.
COSTLY TURNOVERS COST WARRIORS GAME:
Another strength of the Warriors all season long has been forcing more turnovers than they committ and on Wednesday this did not happen. The Warriors committed 20 turnovers while they forced 18. The two teams each scored 20 points off of turnovers but the Warriors last turnover was the most costly as it forced starting point guard Chloe Rothman to foul out of the game with one minute to play.
MERRIMACK HOLDS HUGE MARGIN OF VICTORY IN 11 WINS:
Merrimack already has doubled the amount of wins that they had all last season, through only 16 games. The Warriors average margin of victory in their 11 wins this season is impressive. The Warriors win their games by a average of 16.2 points. The Warriors have recorded wins of 48, 30 points, 20 points, 18 points twice, 15 points, 11 points and eight 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, nearing the end of the game, winning three games by five points of less.