MICHELLE OBACH LED THE TEAM WITH 16 POINTS, THREE REBOUNDS, AND AN ASSIST IN THE LOSS
Links: Box Score
WEST HAVEN, Conn. – The Merrimack College women's basketball fought valiantly, but host New Haven managed to pull away late, as the Warriors suffered their second consecutive defeat, 82-70, on Saturday afternoon at Charger Gymnasium.
Game: New Haven 82, Merrimack 70
Records: Merrimack (10-9, 6-8) | New Haven (14-6, 9-5)
Location: Charger Gymnasium | West Haven, Conn.
How It Happened
Both sides went back-and-forth down the floor over the course of the first stanza, as the Warriors went into the break trailing by just nine, 43-34. That theme continued in the opening minutes of the second half, as Merrimack continued to keep the pace with the Chargers, but a late spark ignited the home side to an eventual 37-36 point advantage in second-half scoring.
New Havens' strengths came from dominating the battle on the glass on Saturday, as the host held a commanding 43-33 edge in rebounding. The Chargers also shot 30-of-58 (.517) from the floor, compared to 20-of-61 (.328) for the Warriors.
The Chargers were led by four double-digit scorers, with Aquillin Hayes leading the charge by means of her 16-point outing. Bria Moore finished with 13 points, two assists, and two blocks. Lauren Hebert and Audrey Cunningham chipped in with 12 and 11 points each, respectively.
Just three Warriors finished in double figures, as freshman Michelle Obach (Tyler, Texas) led the visitors with 16 points. Senior Shelby Secor (Antioch, Calif.) tallied 15 points and a block, while sophomore Ashley Weissmann (Highland, Calif.) chimed in with 10 points and two rebounds.
New Haven came out firing to start, and after a Bria Moore jumper and Rykema Stone layup, New Haven found itself ahead, 4-0. But despite the early giveaways, the Chargers extended its lead to five (9-4) with 16:44 left in the opening stanza.
Merrimack would then battle back to tie the Chargers at 11-all after a converted 3-point play from Secor, but the Chargers answered back with a 5-0 run to bring the hosts ahead 16-11. However, Merrimack then went on a 5-0 run to tie the home team, again, at 16-all.
With just under 10 minutes to play in the half, Merrimack and New Haven continued to battle in the paint, but an Obach layup gave Merrimack its first lead of the half, 27-25. From there on out, both sides would exchange scoring chances to close out the first half, as New Haven took a 45-34 advantage in the intermission.
The first 10 minutes of the second half saw New Haven take its biggest lead of the game with 18, but the Warriors kept within range of the Chargers and trailed by just seven (70-63) with 3:35 to go. But moments later, Audrey Cunningham hit two free throws before the home side saw its edge grow to double digits, as the Warriors suffered a tough 82-70 road loss.
A Closer Look
- New Haven finished the afternoon outscoring the Warriors in the paint, 34-28, as well as posting 12 fast break points.
- Today's game featured four ties and two lead changes.
- Merrimack's bench contributed 45 points, while four blocks.
- New Havens' defense forced 11 Merrimack turnovers, while posting 15 points off the Warriors giveaways.
Next up, the Warriors return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 5, when they host Stonehill College in a conference home tilt. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.