NORTH ANDOVER, MA – Merrimack senior captain Kelly Schatzlein (Tolland, CT) recorded her 11th double-double of the season with 15 points and 12 rebounds but it was not enough as the Umass Lowell RiverHawks beat the Warriors by the score of 91-72 at Bert Hammel Court on Saturday afternoon.
Merrimack (12-11, 8-11 NE-10) will travel to take on Saint Michael's in a crucial Northeast-10 Conference game on Wednesday on the road. Tip is set for 5:30 p.m.
"Defensively we did not defend the three point shot like we would have liked to today," said head coach Monique LeBlanc. " I thought we did a good job of getting open looks on the offensive end but we did not hit our open looks and playing against a good team like Lowell, that will hurt you."
Schatzlein led the Warriors with her double-double and she also recorded three steals and two assists in 30 minutes of action while sophomore Chloe Rothman (Newton, Mass.) continued her solid play off the bench scoring 15 points, grabbing four boards and dishing out four assists. Jaclyn Lyons (Reading, Mass.) continued her steady play as she finished with 10 points, four rebounds and two steals while Allison Wagner (Center Conway, NH) put up another solid night with eight points off the bench in only 18 minutes of action. Freshman Ashley Weissmann (Highland, Calif.) played well off the bench scoring six points while dishing out a career-high five assists and grabbing four boards in the losing effort.
The RiverHawks shot lights out from behind the arc in the victory as they made 14 of 25 attempts from deep including a perfect 5-for-5 from Erika Sjoberg off the bench. The 14 three pointers was the most allowed by the Warriors all season.
Merrimack fell behind early in the first half as they trailed 9-1 with 15:52 to play in the half and they were not able to get the lead back the rest of the way. After a layup from Schatzlein cut the deficit to eight just a few minutes later, the RiverHawks went on a 9-0 run to blow the game open in the first half, taking the 27-10 lead midway through the first half.
The closest the Warriors got the rest of the first half was 11 after a deep three pointer by Weissmann went through with the assist going to Shelby Secor (Antioch, Calif.) and then back-to-back layups converted by Katie Ganser (Needham, Mass.) and Cassi Amenta (Lynn, Mass.) to make the score 39-28 in favor of the visitors with 3:04 to play.
Lowell finished out the half on a 10-5 run to extend their halftime lead to 16 points at 49-33. The RiverHawks shot 52.6 percent from the floor in the opening 20 minutes while the Warriors were held to 43.3 percent and 11 turnovers.
The two teams went back-and-forth for the first 10 minutes of the second half as neither squad was able to pull away. The Warriors got a layup from freshman Tia Scott (New York, NY) with 9:56 to play to cut the deficit to the lowest of the second half, 10 and then 40 seconds later Lyons nailed a jumper to again cut the deficit to 10 but the Warriors were not able to pull any closer.
The RiverHawks played solid offensively down the stretch extending their lead to as much as 20 in the final three minutes before ending up defeating the Warriors by 19, 91-72.
For the game, Merrimack shot 42.4 percent from the floor and committed 18 turnovers while the RiverHawks shot 44.8 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 18 times as well.
Merrimack outscored their opponents 34-18 in points in the paint but they were beat 24-11 on points off turnovers for the contest. Lowell also outscored the Warriors 20-16 in second chance points while the RiverHawks bench outscored Merrimack's bench 45-33 for the game.
Lowell was led offensively by the NE-10 leading scorer, Bianca Simmons who finished with 26 points to go along with seven rebounds, six assists and six steals. Sjoberg came off the bench for the RiverHawks and went a perfect 5-for-5 from behind the arc and finished with 17 points and five boards while Danielle DePierro finished off her impressive game with 15 points off the bench in only 14 minutes.