December 3, 2013

Women's Basketball Looks to Knock off No. 1 Bentley University Wednesday Night

WARRIORS SET FOR LEAGUE CLASH VS. TOP-RANKED FALCONS WEDNESDAY

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NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – After defeating Master's College in overtime, 76-74, and falling to Cal Poly Pomona last weekend in California, the Merrimack College women's basketball team returns to Hammel Court to challenge the unbeaten No. 1 Bentley University in a Northeast-10 Conference clash Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m.

The Basics
Game: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 | 5:30 p.m.
Records: Merrimack College (3-3, 1-2) | Bentley University (7-0, 4-0)
Location: Hammel Court | North Andover, Mass.

Last Time Out

The Merrimack College women's basketball team snapped the Lady Mustangs two game winning streak on Friday afternoon by the score of 76-74 at Master's College, before falling to the Broncos of Cal Poly Pomona, 88-81, on Saturday night. 

On Friday, the Warriors took any early 7-4 lead until Master's College were able to tie the game at 9-all with 15:07 left to play in the first half. The Lady Mustangs managed to go on an 11-4 run until the Warriors battled back and junior Melissa Miller (North Andover, Mass.) tied the game at 35-all after a made free throw. Both teams went back-and-forth and the Warriors trailed the Lady Mustangs, 39-38, heading into halftime.

Master's College took a two point lead at 46-44 but the Warriors regained the lead after a 3-pointer from junior Allison Wagner (Center Conway, N.H.) bringing the score to 47-46. After a good layup from junior Chloe Rothman (Newton, Mass.), Merrimack was able to take a 68-65 lead with 32 seconds left in regulation. The Lady Mustangs managed to bring the score to within one point after a layup from Whitney Best. Rothman answered back with a basket from long range, but Masters College managed to send the game into overtime (69-69).

With 13 seconds to play and holding a one point lead, Rothman is sent to the free throw line after being fouled by Zoe Scott. Rothman made the first free throw extending the Warriors lead to 76-74, but was unable to make the second one. With two shot attempts and a big offensive rebound, Master's College was unable to tie or steal the game from the Warriors.

On Saturday, the Broncos opened the scoring on a 7-0 run forcing the Warriors to take their first timeout. Cal Poly Pomona continued to dominate in the first half and take their biggest lead of 17 points (32-15) with 5:55 remaining on the clock. Merrimack chipped away at the 17 point lead and the Warriors ended the half on a 4-0 run to cut the Broncos lead to seven (38-31).

In the second half, the Warriors continue to chip away at Cal Poly Pomona's lead and after a made layup from sophomore Tia Scott (New York, N.Y.), Merrimack was able to take its first lead of the game by the score of 51-49. Both teams battled back-and-forth and tied the game at 70-all with two minutes remaining in regulation. Trailing by eight, 86-78, Wagner nailed a three point shot to bring the Warriors within five with seven seconds to play but, unfortunately Merrimack was unable to get another scoring opportunity.  

Last Season against the Falcons:

Game 1:

  • Bentley defeated Merrimack, 73-61.
  • Merrimack was led offensively by Rothman who finished off her impressive night with 14 points on 5-8 from the floor and 3-5 from deep in 24 minutes of action.
  • The turning point in the game came at the 5:51 mark of the second half as starting point guard Rothman fouled out on a debatable foul call. With Rothman out, Bentley went on a 12-2 run down the stretch to open their lead up to ten with just under two minutes to play in the contest. 
  • For the game, Merrimack shot 37.1 percent from the floor and a season-high 78.6 percent from the free throw line.
  •  The Falcons were held to 36.2 percent from the floor but they converted on 19 of 29 free throws and forced 16 Merrimack turnovers in the win.

Game 2:

  • Bentley defeated Merrimack. 72-58.
  • For the game, Merrimack shot 41.3 percent from the floor while the visitors shot 46.4 percent. The Warriors were limited to only three free throw attempts while Bentley finished the game going 15-for-25 from the free throw stripe.
  • The bench battle was won by the Warriors once again as they outscored Bentley 27-14 in the loss.
  • Bentley took advantage of the turnovers they caused as they outscored the Warriors 26-11 in points off turnovers.
  • Rothman finished the game 5-for-8 from the floor including 3-for-3 from three point range which was good for 13 points while Kelly Schatzlein (Tolland, Conn.) racked up her ninth double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 boards.

The Warriors:

  • The Warriors are ranked third in the league averaging 6.7 shots from long range as well as averaging 10.0 steals per game.
  • The Navy and Gold have a .500 overall winning percentage while a .333 winning percentage in the conference.
  • On the road, Merrimack shoots 44.9 percent (144-of-321) from the floor and 75 percent (63-of-84) from the line.
  • In the month of November, the Warriors went 40-of-118 (33.9 percent) from long range and averages 35.7 rebounds and 10.0 steals per game.
  • Rothman leads the team averaging 14.7 points per game, while senior Shelby Secor (Antioch, Calif.) averages 12.0 points per game.

Scouting the Falcons:

  • Before the season started, the Falcons were chosen to finish first in the Northeast Division and USA Today preseason poll.
  • The Falcons are coming off a 71-42 win over the Penmen of Southern New Hampshire.
  • As a team, the Falcons average 81.0 points per game, as well as shoots 46.4 percent from the field and 75.4 percent from the line.
  • Senior forward Lauren Battista leads the team averaging 16.1 points per game while shooting 57 percent from the floor.
  • For the first time in school history, both Bentley basketball teams are currently 7-0.

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For continuing coverage of Merrimack athletics, check back online at www.merrimackathletics.com, and follow the Warriors on Twitter @MC_Athletics.