NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College women's basketball team scored its most points in three weeks including a 25-point third quarter to power the Warriors to a 67-57 victory over visiting Stonehill College on Tuesday night at Hammel Court. With the win, Merrimack improved to 9-8 this season in Northeast-10 Conference play, swept the season series with the Skyhawks and moved back into a playoff position in the Northeast Division.
Score: Merrimack 67, Stonehill 57
Records: Merrimack (11-11, 9-8 NE10) | Stonehill (10-11, 9-8 NE10)
Location: Hammel Court | North Andover, Mass.
The Turning Point:
Merrimack tied its season high for scoring in a quarter with 25 points in the third. The Warriors started the frame on a 12-0 run, and sophomore Lindsay Werner (Groton, Mass.) came off the bench and connected on three straight 3-pointers, part of a 5-for-5 start for the second-year guard from distance. The run turned a four-point halftime lead into an advantage that grew to as many as 19 points.
NE-10 Postseason Outlook:
The top-five teams in the Northeast Division advance to the NE-10 Championship, with the fifth seed playing the fourth seed out of the Southwest in the opening round on Friday, Feb. 24. The Warriors have four games remaining, two of which are at home.
1) Bentley (15-1)
2) Assumption (10-7)
3) Saint Anselm (10-7)
4) Saint Michael's (9-7)
5) Merrimack (9-8)
6) Stonehill (9-8)
7) Southern New Hampshire (5-11)
8) Franklin Pierce (0-16)
How It Happened (First Quarter)
- Freshman Denia Davis-Stewart (Dorchester, Mass.) and senior My'Asia Alston (Cohoes, N.Y.) combined for the Warriors' first nine points, as the latter's 3-pointer sank with 5:36 left in the frame, giving the Navy and Gold a 9-6 lead
- Werner entered the game with under five mintues to play and extended Merrimack's run to 11-4 with a pair of triples – with the second falling through with 2:18 left in the quarter, making it a 17-10 game
- The Skyhawks scored eight of the final 10 points of the frame over the final two minutes, cutting the deficit to one, 19-18, entering the second
How It Happened (Second Quarter)
- Sophomore Lexi Martin (Franklin, Mass.), senior Savannah Johnson (Palmdale, Calif.) and Alston all hit layups as the Warriors started the quarter on a 6-0 run. Stonehill responded with six unanswered of its own, all coming in a 90-second span, to tie the game with 4:14 left
- Johnson took over to hit two more shots, and Alston added another driving right-handed lay-in to create another 6-0 spurt for the Navy and Gold. The Skyhawks added a pair of free throws late to cut their deficit to four, 31-27, entering the locker room
How It Happened (Third Quarter)
- The Warriors played one of their best quarters of the season in the third on Tuesday. Merrimack started the quarter on a 12-0 run, holding the Skyhawks scoreless for the first 5:09. Three Warriors scored during the stretch, including points from sophomore Karlee Alves (Ellington, Conn.), Johnson and Davis-Stewart
- Werner entered the game at the 4:37 mark and stole the show. She hit three straight 3-pointers over a span of two minutes and across four Warriors' possessions. The final make sank with 2:04 left to give the hosts a 19-point lead. The hosts took a 56-40 lead into the final quarter
How It Happened (Fourth Quarter)
- Stonehill brought the deficit down to 14 over the first three minutes of the fourth, but a left-handed make from Martin increased the Warriors' advantage to 60-44 with 6:15 left. From there, the visitors outscored the Warriors 9-3 to make it a 10-point game with four minutes remaining
- Johnson scored the Warriors' final four points, finishing the game with a double-double. Merrimack was able to empty its bench towards the end with freshmen Giulia Orlando (Haverhill, Mass.), Emily Houle (Attleboro, Mass.), Kathryn Roberts (Grand Terrace, Calif.), redshirt-sophomore Emily Stephens (North Bend, Wash.) and junior Cecilia Reyes (Lawrence, Mass.) taking the floor
Inside The Numbers
- Johnson's double-double consisted of 18 points and 12 rebounds, while the second-year captain converted on 9-of-11 field-goal attempts. Seven of her caroms came on the offensive glass, which contributed to 14 second-chance points for the Warriors
- Werner hit four triples in the first meeting between the Warriors and Skyhawks, and did not miss on her first five shots from beyond the arc. It marked her fourth game with at least five 3-pointers this season, and she is 8-of-14 over her last two contests
- Merrimack's defense forced the Skyhawks into just 34 percent shooting from the field. In fact, the visitors had as made free throws made (18) as field goals (18)
- The Navy and Gold forced Stonehill into committing 21 turnovers, which led to a 22-13 edge in points off miscues
- For the first time in her career, Alves scored in double figures by finishing with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting. The starting guard also played in a team-high 35 minutes
The Warriors travel to Manchester, N.H. on Saturday afternoon for a 2 p.m. contest with Southern New Hampshire. The divisional game will be broadcast nationally on NESNplus and NESN National.