Women's Hoops Aims To Secure Playoff Berth With Win Over SNHU On Saturday
The Merrimack women's basketball team stays on the road for another crucial NE-10 game on Saturday afternoon as they will take on the Southern New Hampshire Penmen at 1:30 pm. The Warriors are currently in the 10th and final playoff spot and with a win on Saturday they would clinch a playoff berth for the first time in two seasons. The Penmen enter the game with a overall record of 11-13 and a conference mark of 8-12, just one game behind the Warriors. Southern New Hampshire has lost four consecutive conference games heading into this weekend.
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 10.3 rebounds per contest after finishing the Warriors last game with 19 points and six rebounds including the game-winning layup with 3.7 seconds to play. Schatzlein also is averaging 12.1 points per contest for the Warriors while sophomore point guard Chloe Rothman has continued to grow this season, averaging a team-high 12.0 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 9.8 and 4.3 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 8.7 points per game and Tia Scott is averaging 5.0 points and 2.7 assists while starting the last five contests. Shelby Secor has been solid all year in her starting role averaging 5.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
ABOUT THE COMPETITION:
The Penmen enter with a record of 11-13 overall and they are led offensively by Sloane Sorrell who is averaging 15.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 53 percent from the floor. Michelle DeRoma is second on the team with 11.7 points per game while as a team the Penmen are holding their opponents to 61.4 points per game.
The Warriors are 27-20 against Southern New Hampshire all-time including defeating the Penmen by the score of 61-58 earlier in the year at Bert Hammel Court.
LAST GAME (MERRIMACK 66 - SAINT MICHAEL'S 64):
The Merrimack women's basketball team picked up a huge come-from-behind victory on Wednesday night on the road at Saint Michael's as they defeated the Purple Knights 66-64. Kelly Schatzlein made the game-winning layup with 3.7 seconds left on the clock and the inbound pass from the Purple Knights was stolen by Ashley Weissmann to secure the victory. Schatzlein led the way for the Warriors with a game-high 19 points on 7-for-10 from the floor while also grabbing six rebounds and recording four blocked shots. Freshman Ashley Weissmann came off the bench for the Warriors and scored 12 points and grabbed four rebounds while fellow freshman Tia Scott had one of her best games as a Warrior, finishing with seven points, nine assists, six rebounds and four steals in 28 minutes of action.
SCHATZLEIN LEADS WAY WITH 19 POINTS AND GAME-WINNER:
Senior Kelly Schatzlein has led the Warriors all season long and this was the case again on Wednesday as she scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed six rebounds. Schaztlein grabbed a big offensive rebound on the last possession and scored the game-winning bucket with 3.7 seconds to play. Schatzlein also led the Warriors defensively with four blocked shots and many other altered shot attempts.
WEISSMANN SCORES 12 OFF BENCH TO LEAD WARRIORS:
The Warriors bench continued their solid play on Wednesday night as they outscored the Purple Knights 28-17 for the game. Leading the way off the bench for the Warriors was freshman Ashley Weissmann who scored 12 points on 5-for-9 from the floor and 2-for-3 from deep along with four rebounds and the game sealing steal. The Warriors improve to 10-6 on the season when their bench scores more than their opponents bench.
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 9.8 points. Lyons had a quiet game on Wednesday as her night was shortened by an injury but she was able to score four points in 13 minutes. Lyons now leads the NE-10 in three point percentage as she is shooting at a 42.1 percent clip so far this season.
SCHATZLEIN SECOND IN NE-10 IN REBOUNDING:
Senior Kelly Schatzlein continued her solid play on Wednesday as she scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed six rebounds. Schatzlein now ranks second in the NE-10 in rebounding, averaging 10.3 boards and 12.1 points per contest and is one of three players in the conference to average a double-double. If she can rack up 102 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 13 WINS:
Merrimack already has more than doubled the amount of wins that they had all last season, through 24 games. The Warriors average margin of victory in their 13 wins this season is impressive. The Warriors win their games by a average of 16.9 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 four games by five points of less.