NORTH ANDOVER, MA – The Merrimack women's basketball team was defeated on Saturday afternoon at Bert Hammel Court by the American International Yellow Jackets by the score of 67-64. With the loss, Merrimack falls to 11-6 overall and 7-6 in NE-10 play.
Merrimack (11-6, 7-6 NE-10) will return home for a conference matchup with Pace on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
Trailing by five, 66-61, with 33 seconds to play, senior Jaclyn Lyons (Reading, Mass.) nailed a three point shot to bring the Warriors within two with 12 seconds to play. On the ensuing in bound the Warriors fouled and the Yellow Jackets sank one of two free throws to take the 67-64 lead with nine seconds to play. Merrimack came out of a timeout and found Lyons for three but her shot was blocked by Erica Johnson to preserve the win for the visitors.
Senior captain Kelly Schatzlein (Tolland, CT) recorded her seventh double-double of the season on Saturday as she finished with a team-high 16 points to go along with a game-high 15 rebounds and three blocks in the loss. Lyons was the only other Warrior to score in double figures as she finished with 10 points while Chloe Rothman (Newton, Mass.) finished with eight points and nine assists in 32 minutes of action. Melissa Miller (North Andover, Mass.) provided the Warriors a spark off the bench as she finished with 12 points and a career-high seven rebounds off the bench in 16 minutes of action.
The Warriors opened up the game quick as freshman Ashley Weissmann (Highland, Calif.) drilled a three pointer from the corner and Katie Ganser (Needham, Mass.) made two free throws to give Merrimack the early 5-0 lead.
With 6:34 left in the first half Miller converted on a layup after a Weissmann pass to give the Warriors the 31-29 lead. This however was the last lead the Warriors would have in the first half as the Yellow Jackets closed out the half on a 12-3 run to take the 41-34 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Warriors opened the second half on fire as they went on a 9-0 run to take the two point lead, 43-41, behind five points from Schatzlein.
With 11:23 to play in the game, Schatzlein converted on a layup, giving Merrimack their biggest lead of the second half, four. However the Warriors were unable to keep the lead as the Yellow Jackets took the lead back just under three minutes later and never gave it back to the Warriors.
The Yellow Jackets converted their free throws down the stretch to hold onto the 67-64 win on the road.
For the game, the Warriors shot 39.6 percent from the floor while holding their opponents to only 30 percent. The Warriors were outrebounded 43-36 for the game and they were outscored 32-22 in points in the paint. The Warriors bench continued to play well, outscoring AIC's bench 18-8.
The Yellow Jackets had three players score in double figures including Alyssa Roach who finished with a game-high 22 points on 8-for-10 from the floor. Krista Ferrentino finished off her impressive day with 17 points and 10 rebounds while Sarah Noble finished with 12 points.