The Merrimack women's basketball team hits the road for a crucial conference matchup with the Saint Michael's Purple Knights on Wednesday night at 5:30 pm. The Warriors are tied for the 10th and final playoff spot and have a road record of 4-6 so far this season with two of their final three games away from home. The Purple Knights enter the game with a overall record of 9-14 and a conference mark of 7-12, just one game behind the Warriors. Saint Michael's has lost their last two conference games after defeating Franklin Pierce on Feb. 9.
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 ranks second in the NE-10 in rebounding averaging 10.4 rebounds per contest after finishing the Warriors last game with a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds in the loss to UMass Lowell. 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 a team-high 12.2 points to go along with 4.7 assists and 3.0 rebounds a game. Seniors Jaclyn Lyons and Katie Ganser have enjoyed nice starts to the season as they are averaging 10.1 and 4.4 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 8.5 points per game and Tia Scott is averaging 5.0 points and 2.4 assists while starting the last four contests. Shelby Secor has been solid all year in her starting role averaging 5.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
ABOUT THE COMPETITION:
The Purple Knights enter with a record of 9-14 overall and they are led offensively by Nicole Adach who is averaging 15.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game while Megan Olsen is averaging 13.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists. As a team, the Purple Knights are holding their opponents to only 63.8 points per contest.
The Warriors are 26-30 against Saint Michael's all-time including defeating the Purple Knights by the score of 63-45 earlier this season at Bert Hammel Court.
LAST GAME (MERRIMACK 72 - UMASS LOWELL 91):
The Merrimack women's basketball team could not stop the hot shooting UMass Lowell RiverHawks on Saturday, falling 91-72. The Warriors allowed 90 plus points for the first time on the season as the RiverHawks used 14 three pointers to down the Warriors. The Warriors also couldn't contain the NE-10 leading scorer, Bianca Simmons, who finished with a game-high 26 points to go along with seven rebounds, six assists and six steals. Leading the way offensively for the Warriors was senior Kelly Schatzlein who recorded her 11th double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds in the loss. Chloe Rothman came off the bench for the fourth straight game and gave the Warriors 15 points, four rebounds and four assists while senior Jaclyn Lyons continued her strong play, finishing with 10 points and four rebounds.
SCHATZLEIN RACKS UP TEAM BEST 11th DOUBLE-DOUBLE:
Senior Kelly Schatzlein has led the Warriors all season long and this was the case again on Saturday as she recorded her 11th double-double of the season in the losing effort. Schatzlein finished the game with a team-high 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds while also racking up three steals and two assists for the Warriors. Schatzlein now ranks second in the NE-10 in double-doubles with 11.
ROTHMAN CONTINUES SOLID BENCH PLAY WITH 15 POINTS:
The Warriors bench continued their solid play on Saturday afternoon but the RiverHawks bench matched their effort. The Warriors bench was outscored 45-33 for the game. Chloe Rothman led the Warriors bench with 15 points on 6-for-9 from the floor and 2-for-5 from deep to go along with four rebounds and four assists. Allison Wagner continued to play well scoring eight points off the bench while Ashley Weissmann chipped in with six points and a career-high five assists.
LYONS LEADS NE-10 IN THREE POINT PERCENTAGE:
Merrimack senior Jaclyn Lyons has been the most consistent player on the court for the Warriors all season long as she ranks third on the team in points per game averaging 10.1 points. Lyons scored 10 points and grabbed four boards last game. Lyons now leads the NE-10 in three point percentage as she is shooting at a 42.9 percent clip so far this season.
SCHATZLEIN SECOND IN NE-10 IN REBOUNDING:
Senior Kelly Schatzlein continued her solid play on Saturday as she grabbed a team-high 12 boards and scored 15 points in the loss. Schatzlein now ranks second in the NE-10 in rebounding, averaging 10.4 boards and 11.8 points per contest and is one of three players in the conference to average a double-double. If she can rack up 108 more rebounds this season, she will be only the second Warrior ever to rack up 1,000 career rebounds and 1,000 career points.
MERRIMACK HOLDS HUGE MARGIN OF VICTORY IN 12 WINS:
Merrimack already has more than doubled the amount of wins that they had all last season, through 23 games. The Warriors average margin of victory in their 12 wins this season is impressive. The Warriors win their games by a average of 17.3 points. The Warriors have recorded wins of 48, 30 points, 25 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.