PLEASANTVILLE, NY – The Merrimack women's basketball team overcame a 15-point second half deficit to defeat the #7 Pace Setters on the road on Friday night by the score of 75-70 in overtime. Allison Wagner (Center Conway, NH) sealed the game in the overtime period with three free throws and she drew a charge in the final 15 seconds.
The win for the Warriors gives them an 11-win improvement on last year's win total and moves them on in the playoffs to take on #2 Stonehill on Sunday at 3 pm. The win is the first playoff victory for head coach Monique LeBlanc.
The Warriors trailed by 13 heading into the final five minutes of the game but the Warriors went on a 17-4 run to send the game into overtime. The Warriors trailed by two with the ball and under 20 seconds to play when Chloe Rothman (Newton, Mass.) took the ball into her own hands and drilled a game-tying jumper with four seconds to play in regulation.
The overtime period opened up with Rothman converting on a layup but the Setters fought back to take the three point advantage with 1:20 to play. Wagner came out of the timeout by the Warriors and drilled a game-tying three pointer with a minute to play. Wagner then converted on three of four free throws to take the lead and then drew a charge to give Rothman two more freebies to give the Warriors the 75-70 win.
The Warriors were led offensively by Scott who finished with a career-high 15 points including 13 first half points to go along with six assists in 28 minutes. Ashley Weissmann (Highland, Calif.) came off the bench for the Warriors and scored 14 points including 4-for-5 from deep while Rothman finished with 13 and Shelby Secor (Antioch, Calif.) scored 10 points.
The Setters opened up the first half on a 6-0 run as the Warriors committed back-to-back turnovers in the first minute. The Pace lead was then extended to 12-5 after their first of five three pointers in the half was good. Merrimack fought back as they went on a 6-0 run of their own behind three straight points from Scott.
After the 10-0 run broke the game open for the Setters, they extended their lead to as much as 17 in the first half. Rothman sank a jumper at the end of the first half to send the Warriors into the locker room facing a 43-28 deficit.
The Warriors opened the second half cutting their deficit down to 11 as Weissmann drilled back-to-back deep balls to get the Warriors back into the game. Secor converted on an old fashion three point play to cut the deficit back to nine for the Warriors.
The two teams went back-and-forth with the Setters getting the 13 point advantage with six minutes to play. The Warriors began to fight back as they went on a 12-3 run to make the score 64-60 after a deep three pointer from Weissmann and a fast break layup from Kelly Schatzlein (Tolland, CT).
Jaclyn Lyons (Reading, Mass.) hit a huge three pointer out of a Merrimack timeout to cut the deficit to 64-63 with 24 seconds to play and after a missed free throw by the Setters; Rothman tied the game with her jumper just inside the three point line.
The Warriors shot 36.9 percent from the floor while holding the Setters to 21.7 percent in the second half. Despite losing the turnover battle 17-13 the Warriors out-rebounded the Setters 47-39 to seal the victory. The Warriors bench dominated once again by the margin of 38-12.
The Setters were led offensively by Margo Hackett who finished the game with 23 points while Brittany Shields finished off her nice game with 21 points and 13 rebounds in the loss.