Hawks hold off Merrimack
MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Merrimack College women’s basketball team brought a five-point lead into the fourth quarter of Saturday’s Northeast Division matchup at Saint Anselm, only to see the Hawks rally to win, 59-57, from Stoutenburgh Gym. The victory split the season series between the local rivals, and put the Warriors two games behind the Hawks for fourth place in the division.
Score: Saint Anselm 59, Merrimack 57
Records: Merrimack (12-9, 8-8 NE10) | Saint Anselm (14-9, 10-6 NE10)
Location: Stoutenburgh Gym | Manchester, N.H.
- In a game that featured eight ties and 11 lead chances, the Warriors used a furious finish to the third quarter to take a 47-42 lead to the final frame
- After Saint Anselm took a brief 51-50 lead midway through the fourth, sophomore Emily Houle drilled a corner three-pointer to get the advantage back to Merrimack’s side at the 4:36 mark of the fourth
- From there, however, the Hawks scored eight of the next 12 points to go ahead, 59-57. Freshman Alyssa Casey had an attempt to tie the game at the buzzer, but it went long to give the hosts the win
- Both offenses hit four field goals over the game’s first four minutes, with the Hawks holding a narrow 10-9 lead. With Merrimack ahead 12-10, the Hawks ended the first on a 9-4 spurt that gave the hosts a 19-16 advantage through 10 minutes
- The first five minutes of the second saw the Warriors score just five points, but an 8-2 run over a span of 2:03 spurned by Casey and freshman Mayson Kimball knotted the score at 29-all with 2:01 remaining. Saint Anselm netted the final four points of the half, however, to surge forward by four at the end of two quarters
- Merrimack scored the first five points of the third to take a 34-33 lead, but Saint Anselm followed with a 9-4 stretch to pull ahead, 42-38, with 4:27 remaining until the fourth quarter
- From there, the Warriors held the Hawks scoreless over the remainder of the quarter. The Navy and Gold closed on a 9-0 run including a buzzer-beating trail three-pointer for Kimball that gave the visitors a 47-42 advantage
- The first five minutes of the fourth saw the Hawks take a one point lead, 51-50, thanks to a 9-3 stretch for the hosts. After Houle’s triple went down, the Warriors held off a pair of tie scores to maintain their lead, including another bucket for Kimball to break a 55-55 deadlock with 1:31 remaining
- Saint Anselm took the lead for good with just 61 seconds left in regulation, sinking a three-pointer to turn a 57-55 Merrimack lead into a one-point gap in favor of the Hawks
Notes and Notables
- Merrimack saw its season-long four-game winning streak snapped in its attempt to win at Stoutenburgh for the first time since the 2013-14 season
- Kimball posted her most efficient effort of the season offensively, shooting 77.8 percent (7-9) from the field, finishing with 17 points
- Casey notched a team-high 20 points, hitting four three-pointers
- Sophomore Denia Davis-Stewart was a defensive force, totaling six blocks to go along with eight points and seven rebounds
- Saint Anselm’s Shannon Ryan posted a double-double with 21 points and 14 boards to lead the Hawks
Merrimack returns home, celebrating its annual Play 4Kay Game on Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m. against Franklin Pierce. The Warriors will also honor National Girls and Women in Sports Day as part of the contest, with all an offer open to all local youth teams to attend the contest free of charge.